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As well as being the most enduring form of art, sculpture is certainly the most influential.Historically, nearly all Kings, Popes and tyrants have recognized the propaganda effect of inspirational sculpture.For other similar forms of carving, see: Stone Sculpture. If these objects are pre-sculptural forms, the earliest prehistoric sculpture proper emerged around 35,000 BCE in the form of carvings of animals, birds, and therianthropic figures, made during the Lower Perigordian/Aurignacian Period and discovered in the caves of Vogelherd, Hohle Fels, and Hohlenstein-Stadel, in the Swabian Jura, Germany.The earliest figurative sculpture is the ivory carving known as the Lion Man of the Hohlenstein Stadel (38,000 BCE).For the finest bronze sculpture produced in China during this period, see: Sanxingdui Bronzes (1200-1000 BCE).
Another early type of Stone Age sculpture are the miniature obese figurines called Venuses: such as the Venuses of Willendorf, Kostenky, Monpazier, Dolni Vestonice, Moravany, Brassempouy, and Gagarino.
Famous works of Hellenistic Greek sculpture include: Dying Gaul by Epigonus; the Winged Victory of Samothrace; Laocoon and His Sons by Hagesandrus, Polydorus and Athenodorus (42-20 BCE), and the Venus de Milo.
For the greatest Hellenistic reliefs, see: Pergamon Altar of Zeus (166-56 BCE).
Of course nothing compares to the inspirational message of America's Statue of Liberty, probably the No 1 propagandist work of sculpture.
As well as having huge narrative content capable of promoting a specific message, sculpture is also an arduous craft whose creators are highly dependent on both tools, technology.