What’s the Difference Between a Sculpture and a Statue?

Perhaps you have come into possession of a piece of art, and you want to know if it’s a statue or sculpture. The line between a statue and a sculpture can be blurry and confusing. That’s because some figures are both a statue and a sculpture. So how can you tell which you have?

Keep reading to learn more about the similarities and differences between a sculpture and a statue.


By definition, sculptures are created through the sculpting process, which encompasses carving, chiseling, or hand-molding materials such as stone or clay. A sculpture can be any size and its subject can be anything, including people or abstract art concepts. Some sculptures fall into the fine art category, like Andy Warhol’s series of sculptures based on commercial products such as Brillo pads. Some sculptures are also considered statues, such as the massive Easter Island stone figures.

Experts consider true sculptures to be one-of-a-kind pieces of art.


Statues can be sculpted, molded, carved, or cast creations. A statue is usually at least life-size, with many being far bigger. Two famous examples on opposite ends of the size spectrum are the Fearless Girl statue (which stared down the famous bull statue on Wall Street for many months), which is four feet tall, and the Statue of Liberty, which comes in at a towering 305 feet tall.

Many statues are also considered sculptures, depending on how the artist created it. If the artist used sculpting methods to make the statue, then it also qualifies as a sculpture. More often than not, statues are created in the image of a real person, religious figure, or literary character. Although they can be beautiful, statues are not generally considered examples of fine art.

Do You Have a Statue or Sculpture?

Determining whether you have a sculpture or statue can be confusing. For example, Michelangelo’s David is a 17-foot-tall marble statue. He is also a beautiful, idealized representation of a Biblical figure. Therefore, David is both a larger-than-life statue and a priceless example of fine sculpture.

Statue vs. Sculpture: It Doesn’t Matter, Art Recovery Technologies Repairs Both

Whether you have a statue or sculpture that needs repair, Art Recovery Technologies can help. We can repair damage caused by heat, smoke, water, or environmental impacts on your statues and sculptures. Our restoration experts can even repair figures that have fallen victim to vandalism.

To secure the best possible assistance with your statue or sculpture, click to complete ART’s contact form. One of our representatives will contact you within one business day!