January 10, 2017 2 min read

Africa’s rich tapestry of cultures, tribal clans and wildlife is often the chosen subject matter of leading sculptures emanating from South Africa, creating a unique and expressive art form that is successfully making in-roads in the global art community.

The birth of sculpture in South Africa

Dutch-born Anton van Wouw (1862 - 1945), regarded as the ‘Father of Sculpture in South Africa’, will probably be remembered for his imposing statue of Paul Kruger that graces Church Square in Pretoria.

Although his commissions of Boer women and children and his prodigious creation of monumental busts of significant historical figures including Boer generals, Mussolini and Hitler, are wonderfully crafted South African bronze sculptures; his smaller, less formal works of indigenous people have effectively captured the essence of the subject matter reflecting Van Wouw’s passion and understanding of his tribal compatriots.

Contemporary South African sculptors

Van Wouw’s extraordinary renderings of the local people have been faithfully continued by a new generation of sculptors who continue to be inspired by the cultural melange of the Rainbow Nation.

Internationally recognised South African sculptor, Jean Doyle is well know for her bronzes of the fuller female figure but her detailed and intricate reproductions of African women are truly remarkable.

Innovative and unique

Innovative South African sculptors are breaking out of the traditional mould and are using different materials and techniques in the creation of distinctive works.

Bruce Mc Clunan, for instance, manufactures his own trademark exotic bronze that he uses in the creation of detailed and poignant works that capture a moment in nature. His ‘Millennium Leopard’, a life size bronze of the majestic animal, boasts 24-carat gold eyes!


Stefan Rossouw has perfected the form and figure of the humpback whale. With meticulous attention to detail such as the inclusion of barnacles on the throat and pectoral fins, an ocean-blue patina on the upper body and cleverly finished off on a fused glass base from which the whale appears to be launching up into the air, breaching out of the ocean. 

Internationally acclaimed artist and sculptor, Yoka Wright is yet another talented South African whose body of work is not confined to any particular style or media. Her bronzes, in particular, reflect both realism and abstraction as is evident in her portraits and the highly stylised Bushmen sculptures in bronze.

Buying South African sculptures online

It is now possible to browse and buy original works by leading South African sculptors online. You can view and enlarge the art work with a click of the mouse, read a comprehensive artist resume and purchase online directly from the site for worldwide delivery.

Fine Art Portfolio represents a host of established art galleries throughout South Africa, affording customers the opportunity of viewing a large body of authentic and original South African art including sculptures by Stefan Rossouw and other leading South African sculptors. Explore the site today!

Mark Wright
Mark Wright

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