Pelješac is a peninsula in southern Dalmatia in Croatia. The peninsula is part of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and is the second largest peninsula in Croatia. From the isthmus that begins at Ston, to the top of Cape Lovišta, it is 40 mi long; the name Pelješac is most derived from the name of a hill above town of Orebić, Pelisac. This is a new name for the peninsula. Throughout history other names have been used such as Stonski Rat, Puncta Stagni, Ponta di Stagno and Sabbioncello; the Bay of Mali Ston separates the peninsula from the Klek peninsula of Bosnia and Herzegovina and from the Croatian "mainland". The Strait of Pelješac is located at its far western end, it divides the peninsula from the island of Korčula. On the west part of Peninsula is the highest summit of Pelješac, 961 m or 3,153 ft. Administratively the peninsula is divided into the municipalities of: Orebić in the western part, with 4,165 inhabitants Trpanj in the northwest, with 871 people Janjina in the center, 593 people Ston in the east, with 2,605 residents The earliest known historic records of Pelješac are from ancient Greece.
The area became part of the Roman province of Dalmatia after the Illyrian Wars. Roman migration soon followed. In the 6th century Pelješac came under Byzantine rule; the Great Migrations of the 6th and 7th centuries, brought Slavs into the western Balkans. As the barbarians began settling on the coast, the Romanised local coastal population had to take refuge on the islands. Along the Dalmatian coast the Slavs poured in from the interior and seized control of the area where the Neretva River enters the Adriatic, to the Bay of Kotor. In De Administrando Imperio, this region was part of a "country" inhabited by Serbs. Miroslav of Hum, the brother of Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja, held Zahumlje and had his capital at Ston. Zahumlje was a hereditary land of the Miroslavljević family. In 1219, Serbian Archbishop Sava I established the Eparchy of Hum, seated in Ston. Serbian king Stefan the First-Crowned intervened in local events, made a redistribution of lands and gave Ston and Pelješac to Petar's younger brother Andrija.
Andrija's son, was mentioned as a Hungarian vassal in 1254. During Stefan Uroš I's reign, power was centralized, the status of the Miroslavljević dropped to local nobility. On 22 January 1325, Stefan Uroš III issued a document for the sale of his maritime possessions of the city of Ston and peninsula of Pelješac to the Republic of Ragusa. In 1333, the two possessions were handed over to Ragusa; the Walls of Ston are large fortifications built by the Republic of Ragusa. They are the second longest walls in Europe. Ston has one of the oldest salt planes in this part of the world; the French Empire occupied the region in 1806, abolishing the old Republic, in 1808 turned it into the Illyrian Provinces. In 1815 it was given to the Austrian Empire and since 1867 became part of the Cisleithania of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Between 1918 and 1991 it was a part of Socialistic Republic of Croatia within Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. An additional connection between Pelješac and the mainland is planned to be created through the proposal of the Pelješac Bridge.
Once completed, this bridge would physically connect all of Croatia, now interrupted by the strip of land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum municipality. The land mass that cuts Dalmatia, Croatia in two, in order granting Bosnia and Herzegovina sea access; the start of construction has been continuously delayed until shipping rights and boundaries can be properly defined between the two countries. Geography of Croatia Dalmatia Dubrovnik-Neretva county Republic of Ragusa Mišić, Siniša. Ston i Pelješac od 1326. Do 1333. Godine. Историјски часопис. 42-43. Istorijski institut. Pp. 25–32. GGKEY:8N4K5PNPTJC. Http://www.peljesac.info/indexhr.htm http://www.peljesac.org/
Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor; the city is the administrative center of Kotor Municipality. The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period, it is located on the Bay of one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southern-most fjord in Europe. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive landscape. Since the early 2000s Kotor has seen an increase in many of them coming by cruise ship. Visitors are attracted by the old town of Kotor. Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor; the fortified city of Kotor was included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list as part of Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar in 2017. The exact time of foundation of the first settlement is not known.
According to some sources, the oldest settled area dates two millennia back, its current name stems from the word Dekatera. The town, first mentioned in 168 BC, was settled during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium, Ascrivium, or Ascruvium and was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia; the town has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Ascrivium in 535, after expelling the Ostrogoths. Ascrivium was plundered by the Saracens in 840, it was further fortified towards the peak of Saint Ivan by Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos in the 10th century. It was one of the more influential Dalmatian city-states of romanized Illyrians throughout the early Middle Ages, until the 11th century the Dalmatian language was still spoken in Kotor; the city was part of Byzantine Dalmatia in that period, the modern name of Kotor originated in the Byzantine name for the town: Dekatera or Dekaderon. In 1002, the city suffered damage under the occupation of the First Bulgarian Empire, in the following year it was ceded to Duklja by the Bulgarian Tsar Samuil.
Duklja, or Dioclea, was a vassal duchy of Byzantium at the time. The local population resisted the pact and, taking advantage of its alliance with Dubrovnik, maintained its high autonomy. During this time, the small romanized Illyrian population of Kotor was assimilated by a significant Slav population coming from neighboring areas. Duklja, the biggest Serb duchy at the time became more powerful under Vojislavljević dynasty and independent from Byzantium in 1042; the city remained autonomous up until Duklja was once again subdued by Byzantium in 1143. The city was conquered in 1185 by Stefan Nemanja, the ruler of the Grand Principality of Serbia and founder of the Nemanjić dynasty. At that time Kotor was an episcopal see subordinated to the archbishopric of Bari, in 13th century and Franciscan monasteries were established to check the spread of Bogomilism. Under the rule of the Nemanjić Kotor became a autonomous city, enjoying many privileges and maintaining its republican institutions; this is backed by a statute from 1301, which demonstrates that Kotor had the status of a city under Serbian rule.
In the 14th century the commerce of Cattaro, as named in Latin scripts, rivaled that of Republic of Ragusa, caused the Republic of Venice to be envious. Kotor remained the most important trading port of subsequent Serb states – Kingdom of Serbia and Serbian Empire, up to its downfall in 1371. After the fracturing of the Serbian Empire, the city was taken by the Kingdom of Hungary, only to change hands between them and the Republic of Venice in the period between 1371–1384. After that, Kotor was held by the Kingdom of Bosnia under Tvrtko I Kotromanić between 1384–1391; the king of Bosnia, who claimed the Serbian throne, minted his coins in Kotor. After the death of Tvrtko in 1391, Kotor became independent, until the administration, wary of the looming Ottoman danger, asked the Republic of Venice for protection; the city acknowledged the suzerainty of the Republic of Venice in 1420. The city was part of the Venetian Albania province of the Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797, it was besieged by the Ottomans in 1538 and 1657.
Four centuries of Venetian domination have given the city the typical Venetian architecture, that contributes to make Kotor a UNESCO world heritage site. In the 14th- and 15th centuries, there was an influx of settlers from the oblasts of Trebinje and the Hum lands to Kotor; the Italian name of the city is Càttaro. Under Venetian rule, Kotor was besieged by the Ottoman Empire in 1538 and 1657, endured the plague in 1572, was nearly destroyed by earthquakes in 1563 and 1667, it was ruled by Ottomans at brief periods. After the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, it passed to the Habsburg Monarchy. However, in 1805, it was assigned to the French Empire's client state, the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy by the Treaty of Pressburg, although in fact held by a Russian squadron under Dmitry Senyavin. After the Russians retreated, Kotor was united in 1806 with this Kingdom of Italy and in 1810 with the French Empire's Illyrian Provinces. Kotor was captured by the British in an attack on the Bay led by Commodore John Harper in the brig sloop HMS Saracen.
Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, much of Southern and Central Europe, never quite effacing more classical styles in Italy. In the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. In many areas Germany, Late Gothic art continued well into the 16th century, before being subsumed into Renaissance art. Primary media in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts; the recognizable shifts in architecture from Romanesque to Gothic, Gothic to Renaissance styles, are used to define the periods in art in all media, although in many ways figurative art developed at a different pace. The earliest Gothic art was monumental sculpture, on the walls of abbeys. Christian art was typological in nature, showing the stories of the New Testament and the Old Testament side by side.
Saints' lives were depicted. Images of the Virgin Mary changed from the Byzantine iconic form to a more human and affectionate mother, cuddling her infant, swaying from her hip, showing the refined manners of a well-born aristocratic courtly lady. Secular art came into its own during this period with the rise of cities, foundation of universities, increase in trade, the establishment of a money-based economy and the creation of a bourgeois class who could afford to patronize the arts and commission works resulting in a proliferation of paintings and illuminated manuscripts. Increased literacy and a growing body of secular vernacular literature encouraged the representation of secular themes in art. With the growth of cities, trade guilds were formed and artists were required to be members of a painters' guild—as a result, because of better record keeping, more artists are known to us by name in this period than any previous. Gothic art emerged in Île-de-France, France, in the early 12th century at the Abbey Church of St Denis built by Abbot Suger.
The style spread beyond its origins in architecture to sculpture, both monumental and personal in size, textile art, painting, which took a variety of forms, including fresco, stained glass, the illuminated manuscript, panel painting. Monastic orders the Cistercians and the Carthusians, were important builders who disseminated the style and developed distinctive variants of it across Europe. Regional variations of architecture remained important when, by the late 14th century, a coherent universal style known as International Gothic had evolved, which continued until the late 15th century, beyond in many areas. Although there was far more secular Gothic art than is thought today, as the survival rate of religious art has been better than for secular equivalents, a large proportion of the art produced in the period was religious, whether commissioned by the church or by the laity. Gothic art was typological in nature, reflecting a belief that the events of the Old Testament pre-figured those of the New, that this was indeed their main significance.
Old and New Testament scenes were shown side by side in works like the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, the decoration of churches. The Gothic period coincided with a great resurgence in Marian devotion, in which the visual arts played a major part. Images of the Virgin Mary developed from the Byzantine hieratic types, through the Coronation of the Virgin, to more human and intimate types, cycles of the Life of the Virgin were popular. Artists like Giotto, Fra Angelico and Pietro Lorenzetti in Italy, Early Netherlandish painting, brought realism and a more natural humanity to art. Western artists, their patrons, became much more confident in innovative iconography, much more originality is seen, although copied formulae were still used by most artists. Iconography was affected by changes in theology, with depictions of the Assumption of Mary gaining ground on the older Death of the Virgin, in devotional practices such as the Devotio Moderna, which produced new treatments of Christ in subjects such as the Man of Sorrows, Pensive Christ and Pietà, which emphasized his human suffering and vulnerability, in a parallel movement to that in depictions of the Virgin.
In Last Judgements Christ was now shown exposing his chest to show the wounds of his Passion. Saints were shown more and altarpieces showed saints relevant to the particular church or donor in attendance on a Crucifixion or enthroned Virgin and Child, or occupying the central space themselves. Over the period many ancient iconographical features that originated in New Testament apocrypha were eliminated under clerical pressure, like the midwives at the Nativity, though others were too well-established, considered harmless; the word "Gothic" for art was used as a synonym for "Barbaric", was therefore used pejoratively. Its critics saw this type of Medieval art as unrefined and too remote from the aesthetic proportions and shapes of Classical art. Renaissance authors believed that the Sack of Rome by the Gothic tribes in 410 had triggered the demise of the Classical world and all the values they held dear. In the 15th century, various Italian architects and writers complained that the new'barbarian' styles filtering down from north of the Alps posed a similar threat to the classical revival promoted by the early Renaissance.
The "Gothic" qualifier for this art was first used in Raphael's letter to Pope Leo X c. 1518
In architecture, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome known as an exedra. In Byzantine and Gothic Christian church architecture, the term is applied to a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end, regardless of the shape of the roof, which may be flat, domed, or hemispherical. Smaller apses may be in other locations shrines. An apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault; the apse of a church, cathedral or basilica is the semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or sanctuary, or sometimes at the end of an aisle. In relation to church architecture it is the name given to where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated. An apse is found in a synagogue, e.g. Maoz Haim Synagogue; the apse is separated from the main part of the church by the transept. Smaller apses are sometimes built in locations other than the east end for reliquaries or shrines of saints; the domed apse became a standard part of the church plan in the early Christian era.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, the south apse is known as diaconicon and the north apse as prothesis. Various ecclesiastical features of which the apse may form part are drawn together here: The chancel, directly to the east beyond the choir contains the High Altar, where there is one; this area is reserved for the clergy, was therefore called the "presbytery," from the Greek presbuteros meaning "elder", or in older and Catholic usage, "priest". Hemi-cyclic choirs, first developed in the East, came to use in France in 470. By the onset of the 13th century, they had been augmented with radiating apse chapels outside the choir aisle, the entire structure of Apse and radiating chapels coming to be known as the chevet. Famous northern French examples of chevets are in the Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Reims; such radiating chapels are found in England in Norwich and Canterbury cathedrals, but the developed feature is French, though the Francophile connoisseur Henry III introduced it into Westminster Abbey.
The word "ambulatory" refers to a curving aisle in the apse that passes behind the altar and choir, giving access to chapels in the chevet. An "ambulatory" may refer to the arcade passages that enclose a cloister in a monastery, or to other types of aisles round the edge of a church building, for example in circular churches. Architectural development of the eastern end of cathedrals in England and France Byzantine architecture Cathedral architecture Church architecture Narthex Joseph Nechvatal, "Immersive Excess in the Apse of Lascaux", Technonoetic Arts 3, no. 3, 2005. Spiers, Richard Phené. "Apse". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 231–232. This has a detailed description of examples in the early church
Croatia the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy, its capital, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics. Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the Croats arrived in the area in the 6th century and organised the territory into two duchies by the 9th century. Croatia was first internationally recognized as an independent state on 7 June 879 during the reign of duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom, which retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102.
In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, in the final days of World War I, the State of Slovenes and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, in December 1918 it was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of the Croatian territory was incorporated into the Nazi-backed client-state which led to the development of a resistance movement and the creation of the Federal State of Croatia which after the war become a founding member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year; the Croatian War of Independence was fought for four years following the declaration. The sovereign state of Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a high standard of living.
It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Croatia's economy is dominated by service and industrial sectors and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among the top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world; the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides a social security, universal health care system, a tuition-free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.
The name of Croatia derives from Medieval Latin Croātia. Itself a derivation of North-West Slavic *Xrovat-, by liquid metathesis from Common Slavic period *Xorvat, from proposed Proto-Slavic *Xъrvátъ which comes from Old Persian *xaraxwat-; the word is attested by the Old Iranian toponym Harahvait-, the native name of Arachosia. The origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe; the oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, attested in the Baška tablet in style zvъnъmirъ kralъ xrъvatъskъ. The first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852; the original is lost, just a 1568 copy is preserved, leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim. The oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription found near Benkovac, where Duke Branimir is styled Dux Cruatorvm; the inscription is not believed to be dated but is to be from during the period of 879–892, during Branimir's rule.
The area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period. Fossils of Neanderthals dating to the middle Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in northern Croatia, with the most famous and the best presented site in Krapina. Remnants of several Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures were found in all regions of the country; the largest proportion of the sites is in the river valleys of northern Croatia, the most significant cultures whose presence was discovered include Baden, Starčevo, Vučedol cultures. The Iron Age left traces of the Celtic La Tène culture. Much the region was settled by Illyrians and Liburnians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Hvar, Korčula, Vis. In 9 AD the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian had a large palace built in Split to which he retired after his abdication in AD 305. During the 5th century, the last de jure Western emperor last Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos ruled his small realm from the palace after fleeing Italy to go into exile in 475.
The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast and mountains; the city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum. The ethnogenesis of Croats is uncertain an
Šibenik is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Šibenik is a political, transport and tourist center of Šibenik–Knin County and the third-largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea. There are multiple interpretations of. In his fifteenth century book De situ Illiriae et civitate Sibenici, Juraj Šižgorić describes the name and location of Šibenik, he attributes the name of the city to it being surrounded by a palisade made of šibe. Another interpretation is associated with the forest through the latin toponym "Sibinicum," which covered a narrower microregion within Šibenik on and around the area of St. Michael's Fortress. Unlike other cities along the Adriatic coast, which were established by Greeks and Romans, Šibenik was founded by Croats. Excavations of the castle of St. Michael, have since proven that the place was inhabited long before the actual arrival of the Croats.
It was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV and, for a period of time, it was a seat of this Croatian King. For that reason, Šibenik is called "Krešimirov grad". Between the 11th and 12th centuries, Šibenik was tossed back and forth among Venice and Hungary, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice in 1116, who held it until 1124, when they lost it to the Byzantine Empire, held it again until 1133 when it was retaken by the Kingdom of Hungary. It would change hands among the aforementioned states several more times until 1180; the city was given the status of a town in 1167 from Stephen III of Hungary. It received its own diocese in 1298. In the 14th century, "Vlachs" were present in the hinterland of Šibenik; the city, like the rest of Dalmatia resisted the Venetian Republic, but it was taken over after a three-year war in 1412. Under Venetian rule, Šibenik became in 1412 the seat of the main customs office and the seat of the salt consumers office with a monopoly on the salt trade in Chioggia and on the whole Adriatic Sea.
In August 1417, Venetian authorities were concerned with the "Morlachs and other Slavs" from the hinterland, that were a threat to security in Šibenik. The Ottoman Empire started to threaten Šibenik, as part of their struggle against Venice, at the end of the 15th century, but they never succeeded in conquering it. In the 16th century, St. Nicholas Fortress was built and, by the 17th century, its fortifications were improved again by the fortresses of St. John and Šubićevac; the Morlachs started settling Šibenik during the Cretan War. The fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797 brought Sebenico under the authority of the Habsburg Monarchy. After the Congress of Vienna until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy, head of the district of the same name, one of the 13 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Kingdom of Dalmatia; the Italian name only was used until around 1871. In 1872, at the time in the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Ante Šupuk became the town's first Croat mayor elected under universal suffrage.
He was instrumental in the process of the modernization of the city, is remembered for the 1895 project to provide street lights powered by the early AC Jaruga Hydroelectric Power Plant. On 28 August 1895, Šibenik became the world's first city with alternating current-powered street lights. During World War I, the Austro-Hungarian navy used the port facilities here, the light cruisers and destroyers which escaped the Allied force after the battle of Cape Rodoni returned to safety here, where some battleships were based. After the war Šibenik was occupied by the Kingdom of Italy until 12 June 1921; as a result of the Treaty of Rapallo, the Italians gave up their claim to the city and it became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. During World War II it was occupied by Germany. Communist partisans liberated Šibenik on 3 November 1944. After World War II it became a part of the SFR Yugoslavia until Croatia declared independence in 1991. During the Croatian War of Independence, Šibenik was attacked by the Yugoslav National Army and Serbian paramilitary troops.
Although under-armed, the nascent Croatian army and the people of Šibenik managed to defend the city. The battle lasted for six days referred to as the "September battle"; the bombings damaged numerous buildings and monuments, including the dome of the Cathedral of St. James and the 1870-built theatre building. In an August 1995 military operation, the Croatian Army defeated the Serb forces and reconquered the occupied areas, which allowed the region to recover from the war and continue to develop as the centre of Šibenik-Knin county. Since the damaged areas of the city have been restored. Šibenik has a mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers. January and February are the coldest months and August are the hottest months. In July the average maximum temperature is around 30 °C; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa". The central church in Šibenik, the Cathedral of St. James, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Several successive architects built it in stone between 1431 and 1536, both in Gothic and in Renaissance style.
The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Yugoslav forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired. In the city of Šibenik there a
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes used carving and modelling, in stone, ceramics and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast. Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, represents the majority of the surviving works from ancient cultures, though conversely traditions of sculpture in wood may have vanished entirely. However, most ancient sculpture was brightly painted, this has been lost. Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were an expression of religion or politics; those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and China, as well as many in Central and South America and Africa.
The Western tradition of sculpture began in ancient Greece, Greece is seen as producing great masterpieces in the classical period. During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture represented the agonies and passions of the Christian faith; the revival of classical models in the Renaissance produced famous sculptures such as Michelangelo's David. Modernist sculpture moved away from traditional processes and the emphasis on the depiction of the human body, with the making of constructed sculpture, the presentation of found objects as finished art works. A basic distinction is between sculpture in the round, free-standing sculpture, such as statues, not attached to any other surface, the various types of relief, which are at least attached to a background surface. Relief is classified by the degree of projection from the wall into low or bas-relief, high relief, sometimes an intermediate mid-relief. Sunk-relief is a technique restricted to ancient Egypt. Relief is the usual sculptural medium for large figure groups and narrative subjects, which are difficult to accomplish in the round, is the typical technique used both for architectural sculpture, attached to buildings, for small-scale sculpture decorating other objects, as in much pottery and jewellery.
Relief sculpture may decorate steles, upright slabs of stone also containing inscriptions. Another basic distinction is between subtractive carving techniques, which remove material from an existing block or lump, for example of stone or wood, modelling techniques which shape or build up the work from the material. Techniques such as casting and moulding use an intermediate matrix containing the design to produce the work; the term "sculpture" is used to describe large works, which are sometimes called monumental sculpture, meaning either or both of sculpture, large, or, attached to a building. But the term properly covers many types of small works in three dimensions using the same techniques, including coins and medals, hardstone carvings, a term for small carvings in stone that can take detailed work; the large or "colossal" statue has had an enduring appeal since antiquity. Another grand form of portrait sculpture is the equestrian statue of a rider on horse, which has become rare in recent decades.
The smallest forms of life-size portrait sculpture are the "head", showing just that, or the bust, a representation of a person from the chest up. Small forms of sculpture include the figurine a statue, no more than 18 inches tall, for reliefs the plaquette, medal or coin. Modern and contemporary art have added a number of non-traditional forms of sculpture, including sound sculpture, light sculpture, environmental art, environmental sculpture, street art sculpture, kinetic sculpture, land art, site-specific art. Sculpture is an important form of public art. A collection of sculpture in a garden setting can be called a sculpture garden. One of the most common purposes of sculpture is in some form of association with religion. Cult images are common in many cultures, though they are not the colossal statues of deities which characterized ancient Greek art, like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the actual cult images in the innermost sanctuaries of Egyptian temples, of which none have survived, were evidently rather small in the largest temples.
The same is true in Hinduism, where the simple and ancient form of the lingam is the most common. Buddhism brought the sculpture of religious figures to East Asia, where there seems to have been no earlier equivalent tradition, though again simple shapes like the bi and cong had religious significance. Small sculptures as personal possessions go back to the earliest prehistoric art, the use of large sculpture as public art to impress the viewer with the power of a ruler, goes back at least to the Great Sphinx of some 4,500 years ago. In archaeology and art history the appearance, sometimes disappearance, of large or monumental sculpture in a culture is regarded as of great significance, though tracing the emergence is complicated by the presumed existence of sculpture in wood and other perishable materials of which no record remains; the ability to s