Buying a museum sculpture replica

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david statue
Replicas come in all shapes and sizes, from life-size to miniature
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Nearly all great museum sculptures are available as replicas

If you haven't seen Michelangelo's "David" in person, you should put it at the top of your bucket list. The statue, which stands in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, is a masterpiece in the truest sense of the word.

Most art evokes some type of emotion while a masterpiece stops you in your tracks and literally takes away your breath. Art is an experience, which is why people are so moved by it, and ultimately, so moved to buy it.

The images of great sculptures that come to mind -- King Tut, Alexander the Great, Pharaoh, Centaur, Poseidon -- all are available as museum sculpture replicas. In fact, it is through reproductions that we have learned so much about ancient Greek and Roman art.

Buying a museum sculpture replica is not a new practice, but unless you are an expert in artifact reproduction, or know someone who is, there are a few tips to consider before diving right in. This is not to say that you must be an art expert to purchase your own replica, however.

First off, it is important to understand exactly what a replica is. A replica is highly precise (museum-quality) reproduction of an original work of art. Replicas are made by talented reproduction artists and are often purchased by wholesalers who then resell them.

Replicas come in all shapes and sizes - from life-size Davids to miniature Buddhas. Materials used to make reproductions run the gamut from plaster and resin to crushed stone and fiberglass, depending on where the final product will be housed.

Speaking of housing, it is important to know exactly what size you need. Some of the life-size replicas can top out at over 15 feet tall. That's fine if you plan to keep it outside in your fancy garden, but unless you have extremely high ceilings be aware. Most sculpture replicas are small in stature; however, and many online retailers specialize in the smaller renditions of famous artwork.

Be sure to compare prices and quality among online merchants before settling on your final purchase. If you aren't sure about the quality, make sure the replica was created from a mold or cast (if you are buying a museum sculpture replica) or was hand-painted (if you are buying a painting or piece of pottery). This will ensure that your replica wasn't mass-produced in a factory.

It is important to have an idea of what you want. Given the fact there are so many types of artifacts to choose from - Egyptian, Greek, Roman - it could take you months to narrow down your selection. Not only are there multiple genres, but think of the many classification eras you would have to sift through - the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenic period; the list goes on.

Keep these tips in mind when you hunt down that replica of David. Buying a replica of a museum sculpture is a rewarding experience and one that will stay with you forever.

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