The sculpture collections consist of nearly 500 works in many different materials and with all the main European schools represented, from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century.
The most important element of this part of the Wallace Collection is the French sculpture, which includes Germain Pilon's magisterial bronze portrait bust of King Charles IX made around 1570, two marble busts by the eighteenth-century sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon and a superb assemblage of eighteenth - and early nineteenth-century bronzes, including portraits, mythological groups and small-scale copies of famous contemporary sculptures.
In eighteenth-century France bronzes were produced to very high technical standards with much care being lavished on their finish. They were highly valued for their lustrous dark surfaces, which were thought to complement paintings especially well. The collection of Italian sculpture is also highly important and equally wide-ranging. It too includes an important group of Renaissance bronzes, notably an exquisite Seated Venus, the only known work by the Paduan sculptor Giovanni Fonduli da Crema and a number of bronzes by or after the great Renaissance sculptor Giovanni Bologna.
Among the marbles are Pietro Torrigiano's moving bust of Christ, made for Westminster Abbey, and Filippo della Valle's charming Cupid and Psyche, made in Florence around 1732. There are also important groups of sculptures in wood, ivory and wax, among them wonderful miniature carvings in wood and a small but very high quality group of German Baroque ivories.