Famous sculptors in art history

The art of sculpture is very close to that of painting: through the ages, trends evolve in the design of shapes, colors and materials. Many famous sculptors have been able to put themselves forward with original statues that have pleased the general public, so much so that we talk about them today in many history books.

Known sculptors: throughout history

Let’s dive together today into the world of sculpted art, with the famous sculptors of each era, with an emphasis on the contemporary era that will speak to many of you through an approach to art unique and thoughtful. It’s a real adventure in the history of art that awaits you, get ready to discover or rediscover the artists who have made the beauty of our countries.

1. Lysippus: the Ancient Greek sculptor

Let’s start directly with Ancient Greece, but as the time is distant, the figures are to be taken with tweezers. That said, we could not begin to list the famous sculptors without mentioning Lysippus: we find his works in the Louvre , Capitole, Chiaramonti museums, and so on.

Indeed, Lysippus was not just anyone: between -370 and -300 BC, he produced close to 1,500 works sculpted in stone and bronze. Fascinated by the representation of the human body, he was the appointed portrait painter of Alexander the Great .

Alexander the Great - Lysippus

2. Mathieu d’Arras: master builder of the Middle Ages

mathieu d'arras

In the period of the Middle Ages in Europe, France was a reference for sculpting Gothic art . Mathieu d’Arras is growing in the list of famous sculptors thanks to his work on Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague : a huge cathedral which will have seen the end of its construction only in 1929!

You can admire the work completed by Peter Parler by going directly to the Czech Republic side, passing by the Charles Bridge and the Church of Our Lady of Tyn, which are other works of Mathieu d’Arras.

St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague - Mathieu d'Arras

3. Michelangelo: The Art of the Renaissance


Let’s continue in the 14th century with the legendary Michelangelo, probably the best known of all. He was not only a sculptor, but also a painter, architect, and poet in his spare time. We no longer cite his works such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or the painting of the Last Judgment, but what interests us today is sculpture.

The famous sculpture of David , made in marble, is a work as impressive for the details in the engraving of the body as its size, which exceeds 5 meters including the base.

Bust of David - Michelangelo

4. François Girardon: icon of Baroque art

Francois Girardon

Let’s venture to France, more precisely to the heart of the Garden of Versailles , where the main works of the famous sculptor François Girardon remain. In the 15th and 16th century, he was already very close to King Louis XIV, we also owe him the equestrian statue of the latter that can be found at the Sorbonne.

But that’s not all: where we see the grandeur of his works, it is in the Garden of Versailles: the Bassin de la Pyramide , Plat Fond and Saturne were all three erected by himself, at the period of Baroque art. Yes, when we talk about sculpture, it can also be on a much larger scale than a simple statue.

Saturn Basin Louvre - Francois Girardon

5. Coustou (Guillaume et fils, Nicolas): notable sculptors of Classicism

Guillaume Coustou

A French family that has marked the list of famous sculptors through its many skills and notable works in bronze , wood and marble : it is possible to find many statues in the Louvre and Fine Arts museums.

A large family close to the king at the time, but only 3 of them will be our guests in this article: Guillaume, Nicolas, and Guillaume (son, this time) Coustou. We owe them great masterpieces such as:

  • The Horses of Marly (Place de la Concorde and Louvre Museum)
  • Daphne pursued by Apollo (Louvre Museum)
  • Allegory of the Rhone
  • Apollo (Château de Versailles)
  • Vulcan (Louvre Museum)
  • The Seine and the Marne (Louvre Museum)
  • Descent from the Cross (Notre-Dame de Paris)
Sculpture Coustou

6. David d’Angers: representation of the art of Romanticism

david of angers

If you are a person fascinated by the art of sculpture to the point of studying it, Jean-Pierre David D’Angers necessarily speaks to you, especially if you are at the school of fine arts: he was there too. In addition to being a sculptor, he was also a medalist and holder of the highest French decoration: the Legion of Honor.

It is to him that we owe many famous marble busts of illustrious greats of his time such as Victor Hugo, François Arago, or the Marquis de Lafayette, Gilbert du Motier.

Always specified in the carving of the bodies of great men, he produced complete sculptures that you will find in the David d’Angers gallery with Fénelon, Ambroise Paré and Joseph Bara.

Bust of Victor Hugo - David d'Angers

7. Auguste Rodin: the father of modern sculpture

Auguste Rodin

Rodin, a name that you have surely seen come and go many times in books on the history of art and especially sculpture. We almost all know him for ” The Thinker “, a bronze statue from 1880 that can be found in the Rodin Museum.

Before arriving there, he had to make his first bronze statue which can still be admired in this same museum: L’Âge D’airain. That said, many respect him for masterpieces of modern art like The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais.

Bronze Statue The Thinker - Auguste Rodin

8. Pablo Picasso: the multi-talented Spanish man

Pablo Picasso

Do we really need to present Pablo Picasso? Impossible to make a list of famous sculptors without mentioning this man who changed the vision of art throughout the whole world. Cubism and surrealism are watchwords for his many paintings and sculptures known to all, such as “Guernica” and “Woman with Orange”.

There are many works in wrought and welded iron, even molded, to then rework the engraving in the smallest detail and give an air of surrealism. Today there are several museums in his name, but also a lot of praise for the artist in Spain and France, being the two countries in which he will have lived throughout his life.

Picasso Statue

And you, who is your favorite famous sculptor?

Of course, we can’t mention them all in one blog post, there are far too many! And according to us, each sculptor deserves a certain celebrity as soon as his work has a deep meaning, which makes us pass emotions of all kinds from the first sight. By the way, our little favorite these days for this is Jeff Koons, check it out!

Do not hesitate to tell us which is your big favorite from this list, or simply which would have better deserved its place by era. By the way, if it’s the art of sculptures that interests you, you can take a look at our shop , which includes everything you need to make your decoration around sculpted art.