Human sculpture is one of my favorite things to photograph. There’s nothing more haunting to me than seeing hand-carved representations of people throughout the ages, frozen in time, in three dimensions.
Sculpture as an art form goes back to Prehistoric times. Most Stone Age statuettes were made of soft stone or ivory, like the Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest prehistoric sculpture on record, carbon dated to at least 35,000 years ago. The Lady of Uruk, dated 3100 BC, is one of the earliest representations of the human face. The Egyptian sphinxes were built around 2500 BC. Ancient Greek sculpture emerged around 900 BC and sculptures of the Buddha began emerging from the 1st century AD in Northern India.
This Reliquary Bust from Flanders, circa 1510, is one of a variety of photos on sculpture I’ll be posting. The woman’s head is actually a container, made to hold a relic. It’s carved from wood and intricately painted.
Isn’t it interesting that the earliest human sculptures found in every ancient culture are, without exception, goddess figurines?