Showing posts with label Sculpture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sculpture. Show all posts

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Gabon Mask

We just learned about the Chiwara antelope sculptures.

Another part of African art is the Gabon Mask.

In the African country called Gabon or the Gabonese Republic, the people there for many years made masks to help tell stories about their history.

This was long before they had ways to write down their history and print books like we do today.

(from: wikipedia - gabon)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Da Ke Ding

Saturday, June 22, 2019


We just learned about the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria.

Another part of African sculpture is the Chiwara.

These are sculptures of antelopes that the Bambara people of the country of Mali used to teach their children about life and about farming.

(from: wikipedia - chiwara)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Da Yu ding

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Benin Bronzes

We just learned about the Mask for King Obalufon II in Africa.

Another famous set of sculptures are the Benin Bronzes, from an old kingdom called Benin that is now part of Nigeria.

In the years of the 1700s, the people from Europe who were taking over parts of Africa did not think the art in all parts of Africa was very good.

Then in 1897 people from another country came to Benin and saw thousands of very good bronze and ivory sculptures that had been made over hundreds of years.

(from: wikipedia - benin bronzes)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Yixian Glazed Pottery Luohans

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Mask for King Obalufon II

We just learned about the Nok Terracotta ancient sculptures from Nigeria.

Another ancient African sculpture is the Mask for King Obalufon II, made some time around 1300 AD.

This was a mask made out of copper for one of the kings of the Yoruba people.

The Yoruba are mostly from the west part of the African continent, in countries like Benin, Nigeria and Togo.

Many of the royal people in the history of the Yoruba people would wear masks for some of their celebrations, like this one that was made for King Obalufon II.

One other interesting thing about the Yoruba people is that there are more twins born in this area than any other part of the world!
No one is really sure why it happens, but some people believe that there is a kind of plant that grows there that makes it happen more often.

(from: wikipedia - yoruba art)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Zhang

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Nok Terracotta

We just learned about the Pisa Griffin in Spain.

Another famous type of sculpture is the Nok Terracotta.

Thousands of years ago in an area called Nok in the country of Nigeria, people made sculptures out of a type of clay that hardened to be like ceramic, called terracotta.

These terracotta statues were usually small sculptures of people with very detailed heads and hairstyles, lots of jewelry, and all kinds of different shapes.

Since these were made thousands of years ago, it's hard to figure out why they were made or a lot about them, but people have dug up the ground and found many of these sculptures over the years.

(from: wikipedia - nok culture)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Gui

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Pisa Griffin

We just learned about the Trà Kiệu Pedestal from the ancient Champa kingdom.

Another famous sculpture is the Pisa Griffin, made around 1000 AD somewhere in Spain.

It is about 3 feet tall, and is the largest Islamic metal sculpture ever found.
It has carvings on it, and some holes.
Some people think the holes were used to make it into a fountain, and others think maybe the holes were to make sounds like a horn.

The sculpture is in Pisa, Italy now, and people think it was taken as a treasure from war long ago when some people from Italy battled some Islamic people in Spain.

(from: wikipedia - pisa griffin)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Hu

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Trà Kiệu Pedestal

We just learned about the ancient temple Borobudur in Indonesia.

Another famous sculpture is the Trà Kiệu Pedestal, built around 250 BC in Southeast Asia.

Long ago there was a kingdom known as the Champa in the countries of Malaysia and Thailand.
The kingdom and most of the temples were destroyed by other kingdoms, but there was a big temple that had pedestals to hold it up, and one of those was saved.

The Trà Kiệu Pedestal has a bunch of people dancing and playing music on it.
It shows some of the history from that time that is now lost because other artwork was destroyed.

(from: wikipedia - trà kiệu)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Huang

Saturday, May 11, 2019


We just learned about the Bantey Srei Sculptures made of sandstone in Cambodia.

Another ancient sculpture in Southeast Asia is the Borobudur temple in Java, Indonesia built some time before 900 AD.

It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, with over 500 statues, and over 2,600 relief sculptures carved into the walls.
Remember we learned that a relief is where the sculpture sticks out from the background kind of like a 3D painting.

This big temple has a pathway that goes around and up the building.
Each level of the building is supposed to help guide people through knowledge and wisdom about the world.

(from: wikipedia - borobudur)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Cong

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Banteay Srei Sculptures

We just learned about the Taj Mahal.

Anther place with a lot of history in sculpture is the country of Cambodia.
This is in southeast Asia, and long ago was part of a land called the Khmer empire.

In the 10th century, there was a temple called the Banteay Srei built in the city of Angkor.
It has many stone cut sculptures all over it, made mostly from red sandstone that was very easy to cut.

(from: wikipedia - banteay srei)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Bi

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Taj Mahal

We just learned about the Jama Masjid.

Another famous Indian work of art is the Taj Mahal, built in 1632 AD in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The building is 240 feet tall, and the area where the building is covers 42 acres of land.
There is a mosque and a guest house, and fancy gardens.

It was made as a tomb for the wife of the emperor Shah Jahan.
He was so sad when his wife Mumtaz Mahal died that he wanted to make a very fancy place for her body to be put to rest.
The name Taj Mahal means "Crown of the Palaces".
It took about 20,000 people to make all the artwork, the buildings, gardens and towers to get it done.

(from: wikipedia - taj mahal)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Houmuwu Ding

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Jama Masjid

We just learned about the Chola Nataraja.

Another famous Indian sculpture is the Jama Masjid, in Delhi, built around 1650 AD.

The name means "World reflecting mosque".
It cost 1 million rupees when it was built, and is made with four towers, and some tall posts over 130 feet tall.
The construction is made of limestone, sandstone and white marble.

(from: wikipedia - jama masjid, delhi)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jade Burial Suits

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Chola Nataraja

We just learned about the Ajanta Caves.

Another famous Indian sculpture is the Chola Nataraja.

From around 400 years in India around 800 AD there were kings and rulers known as the Cholas.

These people really tried to improve the buildings and artwork of their country, and build things that would last for a thousand years.

There are many famous bronze statues that were made during this time.
One of the most famous is the Nataraja.

One of the hindu deities is named Shiva, and sometimes they call him Nataraja which means lord of the dance.

(from: wikipedia - chola art and architecture)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bianzhong of Marquis Yi of Zeng

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Ajanta Caves

We just learned about the Sanchi Stupa.

Another group of famous sculpture in India is the Ajanta Caves.

This is a group of 30 caves, built over a long time between 100 BC to around 650 AD.
The caves were carved into a 250 foot wall of rock.

In each of the cave areas are tall columns, and sculptures of buddha or other statues.
The caves were used as homes for some monks, places to hide during dangerous storms, and places for travelers to stop and rest on their journey.

(from: wikipedia - ajanta caves)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Leshan Giant Buddha

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Sanchi Stupa

We just learned about the Mshatta Facade.

Another famous Indian sculpture is the Sanchi Stupa.

A stupa is a dome shaped building that is like a temple for worship in India.

The town of Sanchi has a big one called The Great Stupa that was built sometime around 200 AD.

We learned before about the Sanchi Capital of Ashoka that was on top of a big pillar just outside the building.

Close to the Sanchi Stupa are a few other stupas, and only a few miles away is a place with over 60 stupas!
These stupas had sculptures all over them, and also some other pillars with capitals like the one with the lions.

(from: wikipedia - sanchi)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tang Dynasty Tomb Figures of Liu Tingxun

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Mshatta Facade

We just learned about the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.

Another famous work of art is the Mshatta Facade.

This used to be part of one of the desert castles in the country of Jordan.

The castle was later abandoned and ruined by some earthquakes.
In 1840, the sultan in Jordan named Abdul Hamid II gave this nice looking piece of the old castle as a gift to the German emperor named Wilhelm II, and it is now in a German museum.
It is about 16 feet tall, and over 100 feet long.

(from: wikipedia - mshatta facade)

(from: wikipedia - qasr al-mshatta)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Terracotta Army

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

We just learned about the Mukteshvara Temple.

Another famous Indian sculpture is the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.

This is a bunch of temples in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh, India, built between 950 and 1050 AD.

Long ago there were over 85 temples spread over several miles.
Through the years many of them were destroyed, and there are only about 25 left.

The temples have sculptures of people all over them.

(from: wikipedia - khajuraho group of monuments)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: The Buddha, flanked by Herakles and Tychee

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Mukteshvara Temple

We just learned about the Konark Sun Temple.

Another Mukteshvara Temple, built around 950 AD in Odisha, India.

This is a large Hindu temple with lots of sculpted columns and shapes all over the building.

The most famous part of the temple is the arched gateway called the torana.
There are two thick pillars with strings of beads, ornaments, scrolls, monkeys, peacocks and beautiful women carved all over them.

The big 34 foot tall square tower inside is called the Vimana.
It has many sculptures of Hindu gods on it, demons and dwarf figures.

(from: wikipedia - mukteshvara temple, bhubaneswar)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bharhat Stupa

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Konark Sun Temple

We just learned about the Rajagopuram.

Another Indian sculpture is the Konark Sun Temple, built around 1238 AD in Konark, Odisha, India.

The name Konar comes from the words Kona meaning "corner" and Arka meaning "the sun".

This 100 foot Hindu temple is made to look like a giant chariot with wheels being pulled by horse sculptures.
There are 24 wheel sculptures, and each one is over 12 feet tall.

There are seven horse sculptures made to look like they are pulling the chariot.
It has sculptures all over the building, and some other sculptures around it like elephants and people.

Next to the temple is another building called the Nata Mandir, which means Dance Temple.

(from: wikipedia - konark sun temple)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Kushan Maitreya

Saturday, February 23, 2019


We just learned about the Elephanta Caves.

Another famous Indian sculpture is the Rajagopuram Gopuram.

A gopuram is a tower with a lot of sculptures all over it, that is at the entrance of a Hindu temple.
The sculptures are usually telling Hindu stories, and have hundreds of sculptures all over them.

There are many gopurams all over India at different temples, but the tallest one is at the Ranganathaswamy Temple, in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India.

This temple area has 21 different gopurams around it that have been built over time for hundreds of years.
The tallest one in the temple is the Rajagopuram, which is 240 feet high was built in 1987.

(from: wikipedia - ranganathaswamy temple, srirangam)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Vajrasana, Bodh Gaya

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Elephanta Caves

We just learned about the Ellora - Jain Caves.

Another work of ancient Indian art is the Elephanta Caves.

Just like the Ellora caves, these are caves with ancient carvings going back to before 200 AD.
There are many caves with many different statues, and some statues that are over 20 feet tall.

Most of the caves have Hindu sculptures, and the entrances to the caves all have columns with special carvings on them.
There are more than a dozen sculpted walls in these caves, each telling a different Hindu story, and the whole cave area covers over 60,000 square feet.

The caves get their name from a giant elephant sculpture that was found at the site.

(from: wikipedia - elephanta caves)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bimaran Casket