If you could travel back in time, where would you go? For me it would be a toss up between Ancient Rome and Greece; purely to see the marble statues and architecture in all their original glory! Naturally, when I arrived at the Louvre the marble statues were high on my must-see list.
Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss is probably the most graceful sculpture in the Louvre. The story goes that Psyche was delivering a jar that contained beauty for Venus, but couldn’t resist the curiosity and opened it. Unfortunately, the jar contents had been switched out to contain sleep instead. Cupid plays prince charming and wakes her from her slumber; Sleeping Beauty anyone? I love how the artist Antonio Canova sculpted their bodies to form a sweeping curve upward connecting with a tender embrace in the center. The smooth marble expresses their soft skin, but at the same time creates a rugged rock underneath them. It’s brilliant the way such different textures can be expressed with the same material.
Something I loved about the sculptures was that they had a bit of a whimsical touch to them. I was first drawn to the sculpture by the beautiful wings and the perfect form, then saw that he was holding a butterfly and flower. Just this small bit of detail added this tender feeling to the overall sculpture, don’t you think?
Not all the sculptures were soft and delicate, some of them showcased strength and action.Having dabbled in some 3d modeling on the computer before, I have a great appreciation for sculptors and digital artists alike. Even with photo references, sculpting can be a challenge. The slightest detail can make something look off. Considering these sculptures were made roughly a hundred years prior to photography, the realism in the animals are quite a feat! After all, it’s close to impossible to get an animal to pose for you for more than a couple of minutes at a time.
This was a peculiar sculpture that caught my eye. At first I thought it was because the boy is laughing while tying a noose around the turtle’s head. After reading up on the Louvre’s description, I realized that I’ve never really seen marble sculptures from this period showing teeth. It’s interesting to think that the ideal was not to show teeth back in those days, when these days it’s pretty common to see teeth in smiling pictures and photos.
This winged beauty was my favorite out of all the sculptures I saw at the Louvre. Known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace, you can almost feel the wind as you gaze up at this magnificent sculpture. The way the folds of her skirts are whipping about her, the dynamic movement in her body, and the outstretched wings full of strength capture this mesmerizing moment that stopped me in my tracks. What do you think it is about sculpture that makes it so powerful? Which one would you like to see in person?