Garden Sculptures & Statues
Putting up sculpture in the great outdoors is one of man’s oldest compulsions. Religious devotion may have been the first motivation, but politics, aesthetic impact and human ego soon crept in. A pharaoh in ancient Egypt was pleased with the perfectly aligned row of sphinxes he had erected along the temple boulevard. He said, “That looks great. People will be impressed. Put my name on it.” The rest is history. Sphinxes flourished, and collectors still put them outside in the garden today.
Classical civilizations in the Mediterranean established a link between gardens and ornamental sculpture, which has survived to the present. In his introduction to Antique Garden Ornament, the essential reference on the subject, John P.S. Davis writes, “The Greeks and Romans were the first in Europe to create large gardens where not only plants, trees and nature followed man’s designs, but which were also adorned with marble and bronze effigies of gods and heroes. The contribution of these classical sources was to have far reaching effects on gardens throughout the Western world. This influence is still clearly evident in many gardens today.”
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