Silver is a material better suited to jewellery than to sculpture!


This quiz addresses the requirements of the National Curriculum KS3 in Art and Design for children aged 11 to 14 in years 7 to 9. Specifically this quiz is aimed at the section dealing with understanding processes and techniques, and it focusses in particular on sculpting and sculpture.

The most enduring and perhaps the greatest form of fine art known to man, sculpture has played a major role in the evolution of Western culture. Its history and development has mirrored the development of art itself, with sculpture providing key works to epitomise each era. Sculpture has an enduring quality not seen in most art forms and it became an important influence on the development of Renaissance art in Italy. Along with architecture, it was the principal form of religious art - which for centuries was the driving force of European civilisation. Even today, although continuously evolving and trying out new techniques, sculpture is still the leading method of expressing and commemorating both historical figures and events.

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The art of sculpture is no longer restricted by traditional concepts, materials or methods of production. It is no longer exclusively representational, as classic sculptures were, but more often is entirely abstract. Nor is it purely solid and static. Modern sculpture may use empty space in an important way, and can also be kinetic and capable of movement. Finally, as well as being carved or modelled, there are many other techniques that can be used when sculpting such as assembly, gluing, projecting (holographically), or constructing in a wide variety of ways. As a result the traditional definition of sculpture no longer applies.

The sheer diversity of 21st century plastic art has left us with only one real characteristic: three dimensionality. Therefore, the current definition of sculpture is something like this: Sculpture is the only branch of the visual arts that is specifically concerned with expressive three-dimension form.

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  1. Why has marble been such a popular material for sculptures?
    Marble also produces a translucent finish similar to human skin, which could be why it was popular for human sculptures
  2. What is the world's most famous example of clay sculpture?
    Also known as the 'Terracotta Warriors', the sculptures form a collection of 8,000 clay warriors and horses
  3. Which civilisation was famous for its (sometimes huge) sculptures portraying animal gods?
    Ancient Egyptian sculpture was closely associated with Egyptian architecture and mostly concerned the temple and the tomb
  4. If a sculpture is not free-standing, then what is it called?
    A relief sculpture is one where the design remains attached to a background, typically stone or wood
  5. What quite often happened to sculptures created in the Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian times?
    Sadly, most traces of any pigments used have long since disappeared
  6. A more modern sculpture, created by Damien Hirst, used an unusual material. What was it?
    The sculpture was entitled 'For the Love of God' and was made from a human skull encrusted with platinum and diamonds
  7. An important aspect of a sculpture is which aspect of its surface?
    Convex surfaces express contentment, internal pressure and general "fullness", while concave surfaces suggest external pressure and possible collapse
  8. One of the earliest Stone Age sculptures is an effigy called 'The Venus of Berekhat Ram'. What is it sculpted from?
    The pebble was found by an archaeologist in 1981 and is said to represent the female form
  9. Which of the following is not one of the four basic methods of sculpture?
    Silver is used for jewellery rather than sculpture. Clay firing is the fourth method - something we all perhaps have in our homes!
  10. What are the two principal elements of sculpture?
    Mass refers to the sculpture's bulk, the solid bit contained within its surfaces. Space is the air around the solid sculpture

Author: Angela Smith

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