Bronze

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin known by men since the 4th millennium BCE. Originally mastered by the peoples of antiquity, it became the noble material of Greek sculpture and Chinese ritual dishware. It is also found in the sacred and princely objects of the Celtic peoples. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages, bronze became a secondary element. The Renaissance restores to the tastes of the day this ancient material with sculptures like the David of Donatello around 1430 or the doors of the baptistery of the Cathedral of Florence by Lorenzo Ghiberti. From the 15th to the 18th centuries, it serves mainly as a secondary material, added to the furniture or decorating pendulums. In the nineteenth century, bronze sculpture gained ground, notably with the bronze statues of Antoine Louis Barye and the statuary of Alfred-Ernest Carrier-Belleuze. Artists from the Art Deco period in the 20th century produce many bronze furniture like Ratteau but also sculpture like Chiparus, famous for its dancers.