Busts have long been used as a way to preserve the past with the vast majority of important people from history having busts made of them. As you travel around the world’s museums, you will see many busts as part of their galleries. It is simply a way to try to make someone’s legacy immortalized. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the world’s most famous busts.
When thinking about historical busts, Roman creations are often the first that come to mind. Chief among these are representations of Julius Caesar. As you likely know, Caesar was a Roman leader and general known for his prolific performance during the Gallic Wars. His efforts created the Roman Empire, although he was later assassinated in a terrible assault.
While there are a number of busts of Caesar, perhaps the most famous is currently housed within the Vatican Museums. Another iconic one can be found in Berlin’s Altes Museum Antikensammlung.
Perhaps one of the most famous pieces of human sculpture art of all time is the bust of Nefertiti. Students of Egyptian history will know that Nefertiti was a queen of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt and wife to Pharaoh Akhenaten. She led a religious revolution in Egypt which shifted worship to only one god, the sun god Aten.
The famous bust of Nefertiti was made in 1345 BC and was first discovered in 1912 in ruins of the archaeological site Amarna. This bust is made out of limestone and coated with stucco, likely the work of the court sculptor. It can currently be viewed in the Neues Museum in Berlin.
While not the classic conception of a bust, the four likenesses atop South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore definitely fit the bill as busts. These carvings of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abrham Lincoln are intended to represent some of the major leaders in the country’s history.
Today, these carvings are a national monument, aimed at preserving the sculptures which are 60 feet tall. They were sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and Lincoln Borglum. The multiple year project made in the granite side of the mountain was completed in 1941.
Cardinal Richelieu was a French priest who served as the First Minister for King Louis XIII. He had an extensive role in efforts aimed at consolidating the power of the monarchy in order to add influence to France’s world status, an effort aimed at diminishing the power of the Habsburg dynasty.
Today, you can find a bust of Cardinal Richelieu in Paris’ world-famous Louvre. In fact, this bust is extremely detailed, capturing Richelieu’s Van Dyke beard. It is made from marble and was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini on a commission from Richelieu himself.
While many people are known for their contributions in the effort for Civil Rights, Rosa Parks is perhaps the woman most associated with this movement. She is prominently known for her role in the Montgomery bus boycott where she refused to give up her seat on a bus. Her arrest launched a boycott that lasted an entire year.
Today, a trip to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. can find a large bronze bust of Rosa Parks that was created by Artis Lane. Parks was actually on hand for the dedication of this bust in 1991 where she was also presented with a key to the city. The bust remains one of many that can be seen in the gallery.
Get Your Own Personalized Bust
These days, you don’t need to be extremely famous in order to have your own likeness preserved for eternity. The innovation of 3D printers makes it possible for anyone to have their own custom sculpture made from a photo. Bond’s 3D Human Busts allows you to have your own 3D mini statue.