We’re pretty passionate about sculpture and creating life-like art (literally modeled after you!) here at Garman Sculpture Works. Right off the bat, however, we will say that we don’t currently do anything in the style of Greek sculpture. While Sean Garman carries great respect for classic art and ancient sculptures that laid out the foundation for his art as it is today, he’s also taken a new approach to sculpting by casting with different areas of the human body. This creates an entirely unique, personal and meaningful sculpture with each work of art that Sean produces.
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Again, we don’t necessarily do classical Greek sculpture work here at Garman Sculpture Works, but we do appreciate paying respects to the foundations of our work. Let’s look at some interesting misconceptions about Greek sculpture throughout time.
Picturing Greek Sculpture
What comes to mind when you picture classical Greek sculptures? Something like this, perhaps? Indeed, most people tend to think of these beautiful, white statues made out of marble. These figures, though obviously stationary, are incredibly realistic, full of movement, and idealized. Works like the Venus de Milo, one of the most popular Greek sculptures, comes to mind – limbs are missing, clothing falls in a dreamlike sort of motion, all on a nude figure.
Yet, what most people do not realize is that sculpture in Greece was not how we view it today. If anything, in the modern day, we’re left with what is only a faint shadow of the true Greek sculpture experience. Consider works such as the Venus de Milo to be a typical representation of what the average person thinks Greek sculpture is, but allow the following information to “sculpt” your understanding into something different, so to speak.
Misconception: Sculptures Featured No Use Of Color
This is a misconception at first sight. The luminous, white statue that comes to mind was not actually meant to be viewed as plain or raw. In fact, the Greeks painted their subjects with color – vivid color, covered in bright yellows, blues, and reds. Going back to the 1800s, archaeologists uncovered many sculptures with specks of color scattered here and there, but this discovery was not acknowledged for one to two centuries afterward.
As such, many art historians decided long ago that painting a marble was like sacrilege to the chalk-colored surface. Following suit, sculptors also believed this, as can be seen in the works of famous artists Michelangelo and Bernini. It took many scrutinous scientific studies and publications to confirm these findings, but painting sculptures turned out to be completely true.
Misconception: Only Marble Was Used For Statues
This is another common assumption that marble was the only medium that the Greeks manipulated. In reality, the Greeks had a multitude of options to work with. Though these materials would ultimately prove not to stand the test of time, the Greeks used sculpting materials like wood, bronze terracotta and clay, creating small figurines that were unfortunately highly susceptible to decay and weathering. Bronze was the only exception, as metal, along with marble, had longer-lasting, sturdier properties as compared to wood and clay. Bronze also allowed for malleable capabilities and statues of monumental proportions, as it needed to be melted down and cast in order to be shaped.
Though Bronze served as the material for some truly epic sculptures, it is rarely seen throughout history, and for good reason: bronze is a valuable metal. While Bronze statues may have been abundant at one point in history, desperate times called for desperate measures, and so people melted down these figures for reuse. Repurposed bronze was used from jewelry to military supplies and whatever else was deemed valuable by society at that point in time.
The few pieces of bronze sculptures that have survived were somehow either buried, submerged in water, or in rarer and more fortunate cases, discovered and protected by art appreciators before a thief could steal it. To the glee of art history professors around the world, the Romans, who were infatuated with Greek culture, made a plethora of sculpture copies from the original bronzes, leaving us with a vague but realistic idea of what these original historic sculptures looked like before they were lost or destroyed.
Misconception: All Greek Sculptures Fall Into Realism Or Naturalism
It’s true that Greek culture is known for its exceptional realism – after all, the ancient Greeks were said to go as far as chaining down their sculptures to prevent them from coming to life and fleeing. While typically hyper-realistic in appearance, Greek sculptures can be broken down into three periods: Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic. The anatomically idealized forms of sculpture typically seen generally belong to the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Alas, we’ll end our history lesson here.
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Most Greek sculptures may not have been able to stand the test of time, but at our Fort Lauderdale studio, you can find the perfect wedding gifts for couples and other cool wedding gift ideas through our hand cast or body sculptures. Get an unforgettable unique wedding gift and schedule an appointment with Garman Sculpture Works today!