Various sculptors from around the world have gifted humanity with some extremely beautiful and meaningful bronze statues.
However, there are some statues that are more famous than others. In this list, we’ll take a look at the top 10 most famous bronze statues in the world.
1. L’Homme Au Doigt
L’Homme au doigt is the most expensive bronze statue ever sold. This bronze statue was made by Alberto Giacometti in 1947 and sold for $141.3 million on 11 May 2015 making it the most expensive bronze statue in the world.
To put that into perspective, the Statue of Liberty would cost around $45 million if it was built in the modern day.
According to its creator, L’Homme Au Doigt, also known as the Man Pointing or the Statue of the Pointing Man, was created in a single night when he wanted to reinvent the statues made in a post-war world.
However, Giacometti didn’t want to associate his statue to the topical Post-War Existential mindset.
2. The Thinker
The Thinker initially called The Poet, is a bronze statue by Auguste Rodin and is one of the most iconic statues in the world.
It portrays a very large and naked man sitting on a pedestal with his chin resting on his hand – in deep thought.
The Thinker was part of a larger commission known as The Gates of Hell which was based around the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri (popularly known for Dante’s Inferno).
The statue was deliberately made nude and larger than everyone else as Rodin wanted to emphasize his “heroic nudity” which is a concept to show figures that are heroes or some form of deities.
There are a total of 28 full-sized castings of the Thinker around the world and the image itself has today become a symbol for psychology around the world.
3. The Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is the largest statue built in the world made out of anything, period. However, it also happens to be built out of bronze – nearly 8 million pounds of it.
Just to put its size into perspective, the pedestal on which the Statue of Unity stands is much taller than the Christ The Redeemer, the famous statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro.
The statue itself is nearly twice the height of the Statue of Liberty.
The statue is of Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who earned the title “Iron Man of India” after uniting the different clans during the country’s independence fight in 1947.
4. L’Homme Qui Marche I
L’Homme Qui Marche I was also built by Alberto Giacometti and was the most expensive statue in the world ($104.3 million) until 2015 when another statue built by Giacometti took that title (number 1 on our list).
L’Homme Qui Marche I, also known as The Walking Man I or The Striding Man I, lit. The Man who Walks I, is meant to depict the “the natural equilibrium of the stride” which Giacometti viewed as “man’s own life force”.
L’Homme Qui Marche I was created by Giacometti at the peak of his mature period in 1960 and it is his best and most important experimentation with the human form.
It is considered to be one of the most important pieces of modern art ever created. L’Homme qui marche I can also be found on the 1998 version of the 100 Swiss Franc banknote which just shows how powerful of an image this bronze statue created.
5. The Charioteer of Delphi
The Charioteer of Delphi (or Heniokhos in Greek, meaning rein-holder) is a life-size bronze statue of a charioteer from ancient Greece.
It is one of the oldest bronze statues in the world and yet is incredibly detailed and well-preserved. The bronze statue is nearly 2,500 years old (478 or 474 BC) and found in 1896 in the sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi.
It is currently at the Delphi Museum, Greece.
The Charioteer of Delphi is so popular because of its incredible detail. In fact, even after more than 2 millenniums, we can still make out the detail in the eyelashes of the bronze statue.
6. Bronco Buster
Bronco Buster is a popular American bronze statue made by Frederic Remington, one of the most popular sculptors in American history.
Remington is famous for his bronze statues depicting the Old West era of American history. Bronco Buster portrays a cowboy on a charging horse with a stirrup in one hand.
The original casting of the Bronco Buster is currently located inside the Oval Office, White House.
Manneken Pis (Dutch for Little Pissing Man) is a bronze statue in the city of Brussels portraying a naked young boy urinating in a basin – the statue itself is a water fountain used for drinking water in the 15th century.
The statue depicts various aspects of the people of Brussels including their sense of humor, rebelliousness, and independence. Various replicas and casting of the Manneken Pis can be found all over the world.
8. Little Mermaid
Little Mermaid is another famous bronze statue in the city of Copenhagen that aims to personify the spirit of a city like Manneken Pis (Brussels), Statue of Liberty (New York), Statue of Unity (Gujarat), etc.
It was built in 1913 by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen and commissioned by the son of Carlsberg’s founder (the famous beer maker).
The statue is based around the fairy tale of the same name and depicts a mermaid transforming into a human.
9. Boxer at Rest
The Boxer at Rest is another extremely old bronze statue from Ancient Greece (circa 330 to 50 BCE). Like the Charioteer of Delhi, the Boxer at Rest is one of the best surviving bronze statues in the world with most of the intricate details still very much visible.
10. The Bronze David
David is a bronze statue made by famous Italian sculptor Donatello depicting the even more famous character of David from the story of David and Goliath.
The bronze statue is completely nude except for a hat and boot. He is also brandishing Goliath’s sword with which he cuts the giant’s head off. The head itself lies at David’s feet.