The Rise of Metal Wall Art: A Look at Its History and Popularity

metal wall art

Metal wall art has been used as a way of self-expression for ages. Metal prints, commonly called metallic prints, are contemporary, high-definition artwork created from a sleek metal panel, most likely aluminum, layered with any picture of the customer’s choice. Heavy metal art used in our decoration today is not the same as before, but it is associated with the time when metal art was first used as a decorative item. Let’s dig into the history of metal art and how it is still popular.  

Background of Metal Art:

An artwork crafted from the “ores of the earth” (bronze, lead, tin, iron, and gold) is called metal art. Most commonly, metal art is also formed from certain metal alloys, i.e., aluminum. Metal art is categorized as either useful or purely decorative. Bowls and cups were hammered from metal in the initial Bronze Age and worked as both decorative and functional.

 While any artifact that has survived the Bronze Age could be considered ‘art’ nowadays, metalwork has increasingly become more ornamental, and contemporary metal sculptures are the most obvious expression of this change.

The Historical Origins of Metal Wall Art: 

Iranian Metal Wall Art has a long history dating back to approximately 7000 B.C., which can be attributed to the durability of metal art discovered by archaeologists. The undertakings of crude artistic can be witnessed in the Bronze Age. Artifacts created from the “ore of the earth” can be found at antique sites in Troy. Some earliest recorded civilizations formed metal tools, utensils, dishes, human figures, and masks.

In ancient Egypt, bronze, gold, and other metals were used to create beautiful decorative ornaments designed by astonishing Egyptians. The most important artifacts that have survived in the pyramids and catacombs of Egypt are forms of metal artwork supplies, including funeral masks, opulent necklaces, exquisite jewelry, gold coins, and metal sculptures. These items are now exhibited in Cairo. However, other items, including furniture, magnificent statues, household utensils, etc., were all created from metal. 

Metal Artistry during the Medieval Era:

During the Medieval era, metal artwork became a part of artistic expression. Heavy metal artwork walls and doors were attached to the richly carved and decorative metal axes. Simultaneously, in Europe, locksmiths and metal workers were dedicated to building ornaments, decorative items, metallic hardware, and more to decorate churches.

 Like men, women during the medieval period also engaged in metal crafting, creating complex pieces such as gold and silver jewelry, crucifixes, and other religious items. These works were skillfully crafted by monks in their monastery cells. Astonishing metal artwork supplies were also created with precious metals to enhance the beauty of jewels and enamel motifs. 

The Plateresco Era: A Time of Metalworking Mastery


The Plateresco Era was named after Spanish silversmiths whose remarkable efforts in metal crafting motivated other artisans to work in other mediums other than metal. During the Spanish and Italian Renaissance, people were more focused on metalware, and they designed bronze door knockers, handles, and candlesticks—lighting fixtures, lanterns, metal gates, etc. 

Instead of the practical/protective purposes of Middle-Age people’s door hinges and other metalware, their efforts emphasized the beautiful and embellishing aspects of metal.

The Italian Renaissance: A Golden Age of Ornamental Metal Art:

At the time of the Italian Renaissance, astonishing designs of classic mini-statues were created. Metal artisans produced this artwork exclusively for interior design. The process was named “Lost Wax.” These amazing ornament artworks were made using wax, but they would only stay for a short time as bronze casting was introduced. Bronze casting involved a few steps. 

  • The process begins when the art piece is primarily carved from wax and then coated with molten clay, and then left the piece to harden. 
  • After the art piece gets completely dry, then, it was taken to heating to melt the wax,
  • A tiny hole in the statue’s bottom lets the wax drain out. Afterward, the sculpture was formed, injected with the liquid bronze, and left to cool. 
  • Lastly, the molded clay breaks to expose the bronze statue. 

During that time, the clay mold had to be destroyed to prevent the sculptor from reproducing the exact design for another person without creating a new clay cast.

French Metalworking: A Tradition of Artistic Excellence:

In France, the popularity of heavy metal art crafting begins with the pinnacle of ornament artwork. With metal, they designed clocks in ormolu, bronze furniture, and irons that reached excellence in design, finish, and form soon after it got introduced. But by the early 19th century, the fame got declined. 

Metal Artistry in England and America: Innovative and Inspiring Designs: 

England and America both followed the same pattern and design when it came to interior décor. During the 17th century, England and America produced hardware items made of wrought iron. However, English designs were given more attention to detail than American ones.

In England, fireplace decorations were designed using iron enriched with brass ornamentation promoting lesser metal ornaments. While in America, the main consideration was the utilities, and blacksmiths were engaged in making bolts, latches, steel wall art, and axes. 

The 18th century was about the silver tableware period, and both nations allowed silverware and other metal-based decorative items. France hunted the opportunity, took advantage of the English and American love for ormolu, and exported decorative items such as shelf clocks that were highly appealing to the public in both nations.

Importance of Metal artwork: 

Mankind has the ability to design and create things not for functional purposes but for aesthetic value. We can experience the huge interest of ancient people in artwork from the ancient cups and bowls, and they also revealed the progress and growth of metal art. 

Observing the artistic progression in the past allows us to praise the human capabilities to develop the creative mind and give his thoughts a tangible appearance. This observation helps us to acknowledge the significance of metal artwork and how well it plays its part in anthropological studies.

Fortunately, some metal pieces are available that never get lost or vanish and still exist in their original shape after spending decades. With the gradual shift of metalwork towards a more ornamental and artistic direction, metal artists started crafting various forms of gold and bronze decor, such as statues, bracelets, necklaces, and other decorative objects inspired by ancient civilizations.


Metal wall art has a rich history that spans thousands of years and has endured major transformations over time. From simple metal tools and utensils in ancient civilizations to highly decorative works during the Renaissance, metal artwork supplies have remained a constant in human creativity. 

Metal wall art has become a popular form of decoration, with various designs and styles available to suit any taste or decor style. As we look to the future, it is clear that metal wall art will continue to fascinate us with its beauty, durability, and versatility, making it a timeless art form that will stand for many years.

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