Bronze, an alloy of copper, tin, and sometimes lead, has long been a favored medium for sculpture and decorative objects around the world. Craftsmen developed techniques for working with bronze in early civilizations in China, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia, and later in the Americas and West Africa. The period of widespread use of Bronze throughout Europe, from around 2500 and 800 B.C., has been coined "the Bronze age." In Greece around the 7th Century B.C., new casting techniques allowed for the creation of a large number of highly detailed, life-size sculptures, a tradition that was passed on to Rome. These developments paved the way for iconic works such as Lorenzo Ghiberti's doors for the Florence Baptistry, Donatello's David (1440), and then the works of Auguste Rodin, Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Fernando Botero, and Louise Bourgeois. Contemporary artists such as Thomas Schütte and Kiki Smith continue to present new takes on the human form in bronze.

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