A statue is a
sculpturein the round representing a person or persons, an animal, or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger. [See Oxford English Dictionary] Its primary concern is representational.
The definition of a statue is not always clear-cut; sculptures of a person on a horse, called Equestrian statues, are certainly included, and in many cases, such as a
Madonna and Childor a Pietà, a sculpture of two people will also be. A small statue, usually small enough to be picked up, is called a statuette or Figurine.
Many statues are built on commission to commemorate a historical event, or the
lifeof an influential person. Many statues are intended as public art, exhibited outdoors or in public buildings for the edification of passers-by, with a larger magnitude than normal words could ever have for the common man.
On rare occasions, statues themselves become historic and inspire their own historic events. In 1986, when the
Statue of Libertymarked her one-hundredth anniversary, a three-day centennial celebration in her honor attracted 12 million, said to have been the largest public event in the world as of that dateFact|date=June 2007. The guest list was unique. "We invited all the great statues of the world to her birthday party and created giant puppets to represent them," said Jeanne Fleming, director of the event. "Each one arrived accompanied by native music."
There is an
urban legendconcerning a code for mounted statues, whereby the horse's hooves are supposed to indicate how the rider met his end. One hoof off the floor would indicate the rider died of wounds received in battle, or perhaps was just wounded in battle; two hooves off the floor would indicate the rider was killed in battle. An examination of the equestrian statues in most major European cities shows this is not true. If it ever was true, the practice appears to have died out in the 19th century. [http://www.snopes.com/military/statue.htm] [http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_074.html]
Statues are amongst the wonders of the world, with the
Colossus of Rhodesand the Statue of Zeus at Olympiaamong the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worldand the Moaiof Easter Islandamong the wonders of the modern world.
History of sculpture
List of statues
List of statues by height
Statues of Gudea, c.2100 BC
Venus of Willendorf
* [http://pmsa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/index.htm UK Public Monument and Sculpture Association]
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