Religious Sculpture

Religious Sculpture

No overview of the history of sculpture would be complete without touching on religious sculpture. While many ancient peoples used sculpture in some form as part of their religious beliefs no civilization or religion has ever matched Christianity for the use of sculpture as religious art and decoration. 

When the Roman Empire officially embraced Christianity as the official religion of the empire in the 4th century the religious leaders had to figure out a way to get the ideas and teachings of the new religion out the masses. Most people at that time didn’t know how to read, and there weren’t enough trained religious leaders to teach all of the people the beliefs of the new religion so the religious leaders turned to art.

The commissioned statutes to be made that showed Biblical scenes and illustrated biblical teachings and then had these statutes displayed in public squares, gardens, and other public places so that people would see them everywhere. The earliest Christian teachings were illustrated for people by sculptures and the Church kept that tradition going through the medieval period of European history because there was still almost no literacy among common people.

Another reason for the constant popularity of religious sculpture is that throughout history, with a few exceptions, it was always safe for artists to create religious art. Very rarely is religious art censored because a leader that censors religious art or disapproves of religious art that is popular with the people probably won’t stay in power very long.

See Also:
Abstract Sculptures
Bicycle Sculptures
Clay Sculptures
Egyptian Sculptures
Horse Sculptures
Garden Sculptures
Ice Sculptures
Kinetic Sculptures
Living Sculptures
Metal Sculptures
Outdoor Sculptures
Photo Sculptures
Sand Sculptures
Stone Sculptures
Wire Sculptures
Wooden Sculptures
Christmas Light Sculptures


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