Bronze is the most widespread metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called basically a “bronze”. It can be used for statues, singly or in groups, reliefs, and small statuettes and figurines, as well as bronze elements to be fitted to other objects such as furniture. It is often gilded to give gilt-bronze or ormolu.
Bronze is an outstanding choice for statue-making because the material is far more durable than marble or terra cotta. Various earliest statues carved from marble are missing the head or limbs, but bronze statues are much more able to stand the test of time at least in terms of staying whole.
The Thinker by August Rodin is a decent example of how bronze imbues the work with an abstract quality that takes it out of its time and stamps a sense of the eternal upon it. The original concept of this recognizable figure of a male with his chin on resting on his hand and his elbow resting on his thigh was that the figure would represent the poet Dante sitting in front of the gates of hell. The statue was going to be one of a series of statues that depicted Dante’s epic poem The Divine Comedy. The failure of this original concept to move to fruition and the subsequent move of the piece into a more abstract idea of a thinker in general doubtlessly helped make Rodin’s sculpture one of the most instantly recognizable artworks in the world. The 1950s TV sitcom “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” opened several of its episodes with the title character addressing the audience while positioned in front of a replica. The original is on display at the Musee Rodin in Paris.
“Frederic Remington” is one of the most famed American artists to work in bronze. Remington’s statues are responsible, along with dime novels and early Hollywood movies, in creating the mythic idea that of Old West. Remington created so many iconic images of western mythos in bronze that it would be very difficult to pick out just one as the most famous, but Bronco Buster would have to be considered one of the most significant of Remington’s work. Like of all of Remington’s bronze statues, Bronco Buster has a kinetic energy that almost makes it seem like you are watching a moving object rather than a static creation. Bronco Buster depicts the most iconic image of the Old West imaginable: a frontier cowboy attempting to break a wild bronco horse. This statue also plays a significant part in Remington’s canon because it was actually one of the first times he tried working in bronze.
The Statue of Prometheus that oversees the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center is certainly one of the most famous bronze statues in the world. Actually, only the Statue of Liberty may be a more well-known statue in New York. The statue created by Paul Manship depicts the legend of the Greek titan Prometheus. Prometheus is frozen forever at the moment of triumph when he stole fire from the gods to give to human beings.
‘Split Infinity, a 2,000-pound bronze sculpture of Albert Einstein by Jim West
The famed physicist Statue is 37-foot tall, 2,000-pound bronze sculpture. His gigantic size, reflecting both his intellect and his influence, will be a sight to behold as he simultaneously emerges from the floor and disappears into the ceiling, seemingly ascending a rope attached to his shoe.
“Einstein looked at time in a physical way and questioned time, space and matter,” says West. “I explored Einstein’s Theory of Relativity deeper to understand the push and pull that Einstein may have experienced not only with this theory, but also with his life’s challenges in general.”