The ancient Greek statues
I have always loved ancient art, but particularly ancient Greek statues and vases. Living in a time where excess was the chief aesthetic, it is inspiring to see an art that revels in proportion instead of extremes. Ancient Greek statues often try to portray themes of beauty in the body, but they don’t do it by overstating everything. An ancient Greek statue of a man will not be pumped up to huge proportions. A depiction of a goddess figure will not have ridiculous curves. They strive to make things look right – beautiful in a simple, human way.
Of course, like most people, real ancient Greek art is out of reach for me. There are fewer and fewer ancient Greek statues, and most of them are fragmentary. Many of the originals are worth millions of dollars, and if you even live near a museum with a good display of Greek ancient statues in it, you can count yourself lucky. That doesn’t mean that ancient Greek art is out of reach, however. There are collectible figurines, posters, photos, and other depictions that are available to everyone. From decorative urns and garden ornaments to museum quality pieces inspired by the original artwork of the ancient Greeks, there’s quite a bit to choose from.
You have to be careful, however, because not all of the ancient Greek statues are of the same quality. The rule is buyer beware. This doesn’t matter to all collectors. Some people are just looking for something that they find artistically inspiring. If this is you, look wherever your eye is drawn. If an ancient Greek statue replica appeals to you, by all means pick it up. For those of us who are more into historical authenticity, however, it can be a little harder to choose. My advice is to look at as much into Greek artwork as you can to get a feel for how it should appear. Sometimes, it is hard to judge quality until you have seen quite a few examples.
Of course, if you are drawn to ancient artifacts you might consider getting something else. Ancient Roman coins, for example, are great collectors items. Many of them are fairly affordable, and they let you have a piece of antiquity for yourself. Best of all, they can make a great conversation starter if you leave them on the mantelpiece or coffee table where they can be seen.