noun \ˈskəlp-chər\

: a piece of art that is made by carving or molding clay, stone, metal, etc.

: the process or art of carving or molding clay, stone, metal, etc., into a sculpture

Full Definition of SCULPTURE

a :  the action or art of processing (as by carving, modeling, or welding) plastic or hard materials into works of art
b (1) :  work produced by sculpture
(2) :  a three-dimensional work of art (as a statue)
:  impressed or raised markings or a pattern of such especially on a plant or animal part

Examples of SCULPTURE

  1. a sculpture of an elephant
  2. an exhibit of African sculpture


Middle English, from Latin sculptura, from sculptus, past participle of sculpere to carve, alteration of scalpere to scratch, carve
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Fine Arts Terms

Gothic, baroque, bas-relief, limn, oeuvre, pastiche, rococo, sfumato


sculp·turedsculp·tur·ing \ˈskəlp-chə-riŋ, ˈskəlp-shriŋ\

Definition of SCULPTURE

transitive verb
a :  to form an image or representation of from solid material (as wood or stone)
b :  to form into a three-dimensional work of art
:  to change (the form of the earth's surface) by natural processes (as erosion and deposition)
:  to shape by or as if by carving or molding
intransitive verb
:  to work as a sculptor

Examples of SCULPTURE

  1. <the artist used a hammer and chisel to sculpture the horse out of ice>

First Known Use of SCULPTURE


Related to SCULPTURE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Three-dimensional art produced especially by forming hard or plastic materials into three-dimensional objects, usually by carving or modeling. The designs may be produced in freestanding objects (i.e., in the round), in relief, or in environments, and a variety of media may be used, including clay, wax, stone, metal, fabric, wood, plaster, rubber, and found objects. Materials may be carved, modeled, molded, cast, wrought, welded, sewn, or assembled and combined. Various forms of sculpture have been found in virtually every culture throughout history. Until the 20th century, sculpture was considered a representational art, but, beginning in the early 1900, nonrepresentational works were increasingly produced. The scope of the term became much wider in the second half of the 20th century. Present-day sculptors use any materials and methods of manufacture that will serve their purposes, and so the art of sculpture can no longer be identified with any special materials or techniques. See also environmental sculpture; kinetic sculpture.


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