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!
- 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 material. Psyche 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?
- 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!
- 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?