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Whether made of stone, wood, terracotta, marble, or bronze, sculpture is a millennial and historical art. Reflecting developments in humanity, sculpture had an essentially decorative, monumental, and religious purpose. Carved works were based on modelling a material and then creating a mould and cast, or carved directly into the material (stone, wood, and marble). Archaeological discoveries have provided evidence of sculpture from the Upper Palaeolithic Period (30,000 BCE). During this era, representations were exclusively of female figures made of clay or ivory.
The art of sculpture has developed over many styles and epochs, and has employed many innovative representational techniques. The sculptor exploited the elegance of the material, the mastery of volumes, and the refinement of curves to open up new creative avenues.