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10 In Travel/ Travel Tips

5 Tips for Enjoying Sculptures

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One of my favorite things to do while traveling in Europe was looking at all the sculptures. Some were easy to appreciate because of their beauty, but others were a bit more puzzling as they had pieces missing here and there. Here are five tips that helped me appreciate sculptures that might come in handy for you too!

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  • Walk around the sculpture and look at it from different angles. The thing that sets sculptures apart from paintings is that they are 3-dimensional. While you can only enjoy a painting from one side, you can appreciate a sculpture from every direction. Here you can see the details of Psyche’s hair and Cupid’s ornamented quiver. You can also see the jar of sleep that you couldn’t have seen from the front of the sculpture.
  • Learn about the story. Sometimes a sculpture will have a story behind it; especially if it’s based on mythology. If your audio guide doesn’t include a description, write down the name of the piece and snap a few pictures if it’s allowed. I was able to look up the story behind Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss by doing a quick search on google.
  • Notice the different textures expressed with the same materialPsyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss is made out of marble, but it’s amazing how smooth the skin of their bodies are compared to the “rough slab of rock” they appear to be laying on. Notice how polished the jar looks on the left. Doesn’t it look like it has a nice gleam to it?

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  • Wait for the light to change. Sometimes If you come back an hour or two later clouds may have passed and the light will have changed. The Winged Victory of Samothrace had a different vibe depending on the light. When it was darker it seemed to show bravery as it struggled through difficult times. When it was brighter it seamed as though it was a beacon of hope and peace. So your experience could totally change from one point to another!

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  • Get a closer look at the details. Sometimes you have to step closer and bend down to get a closer look at the small details, but it will be totally worth it! I never would have seen the delicate butterfly wings or the petals of the flower if I hadn’t taken a closer look. By getting closer you join this intimate space the artist has created, and it will be a completely different experience from standing back and giving it a brief look.

Your turn ♥ Do you have any tips for enjoying sculptures? What has been your favorite sculpture to date?

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  • http://blog.jessicapei.com/ Jessica @ WONDERMENTARY

    I’m liking all those detail shots! Those butterfly wings are truly delicate and very easy to miss. I’ll definitely try to pay more attention to the details!

    http://blog.jessicapei.com/

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Yes it was pretty small so it would have been easy to pass by without noticing!

  • http://www.welltraveledwife.com/ emi

    i love these tips! so simple but so helpful – can’t wait to use them soon here in italy!

    xo welltraveledwife.com

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      There were some amazing sculptures and fountains Italy! Hope you have a wonderful time there! <3

  • http://www.sartorialdiner.com/ Stephanie

    These are such great tips! I love sculptures that are based on mythology. It’s always stunning to watch the stories come to life!

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Right?! I really love seeing how they include elements of the story in the sculptures! I feel as though it wouldn’t hurt for them to have a small panel with the story written on it displayed next to the sculpture, but maybe that’s just me hehe.

  • http://thefashionography.blogspot.com Kathryn

    Love these tips! You’re so right on all of them, especially getting to look at sculptures from different angles. Often, they’re so many details you miss if you just glance at it from the front and move on!

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Definitely! I think part of the trap we fall into is how much time we plan to spend in the museum or gallery, especially if we’re traveling abroad and have lots of other places to see. So it’s easy to glance over things and walk on to the next piece without fully appreciating a sculpture from different angles. But then again I’ve also seen pieces displayed against the wall so you can’t really see what it looks like from behind…hmm…hehe

  • http://www.diamondcanopy.com/ Winnie_dc

    I love the winged victory of samothrace! I remember visiting years ago and it was also so crowded around that sculpture. It’s really beautiful. Those wings are so detailed aren’t they?

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Yes there were a lot of people around Nike looking up in awe! It’s probably my favorite sculpture from the Louvre!