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 First Figurines

It looks like humans started decorating their caves with figurines made of stone or clay even before they learned how to paint on walls. Differently put, sculpture predates painting. Animal sculptures discovered on early man sites indicate exactly that. At the dawn of human civilization, the figurines served predominantly as religious and ceremonial objects. Figurines embodied natural forces, human fears and hopes. The presence of figurines in a home arguably reached its peak in the Baroque era. Their purpose evolved, however, as well as their look. They lost their initial ceremonial significance unless beauty is revered as a deity, which was not that far of a stretch during Baroque. That glorious age was when sculpture and painting constituted one cohesive whole. From tiny replicas of iconic sculptures to peculiar examples of cultures exotic to us, figurines have never left our homes ever since. Even in the darkest hours or ages, which for different parts of humanity took place at different times, figurines in some shape or form were gracing human homes with their presence. 

 

Figurine Varieties 

Today one can easily get lost in the plentitude of not simply figurines, but their umpteen styles and types. obviously, that circle of options needs to be narrowed down somehow. A sufficient chunk can be dismissed simply by specifying the definition of a figurine. By definition, it is a sculpture not greater than 80 cm in height and one meter in length. Figurines differ by purpose. The latter can be decorative or ceremonial. Alternatively, figurines can be of artistic merit within their own rights. It is partly true for scale replicas of famous statuary works. But for the most part, all of the purposes are in different proportions mixed all sculptures ranging from classical masterpieces to some local art and crafts. There are more categories into which figurines can be broken down, such as portrait sculpture, mythology, everyday life, history, symbolism, animalism. The names of those categories hardly require elaboration. They in turn fall into more subcategories. For example, portrait sculptures can be bust, torso and full body statues. Mythology includes Ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Chinese, Hindu, Proto-Indo-European, Scandinavian and so much more.

Everyday life figurines, as the term suggests, depict everyday life and people going about their everyday business.

Historical figurines depict historical figures -- excuse my tautology -- or events. 

Symbolic or metaphoric category is the most overarching. It includes figurines that portray different abstract, ethereal and metaphysical entities and phenomena such as human emotions, sins and virtues. 

Despite the obvious similarity symbolic and metaphoric figurines have a clear distinction. Metaphors most of the time have a specific reading, whereas symbols are rarely equivocal and imply many things at the same time. Animalist figurines depict animals, birds, fish and insects.

As noted above, the sculpture is the most ancient art, precisely because the artistic medium for it was widely available. 

One of the most popular media for decor sculpture has always been stone -- particularly, marble -- although it is rather difficult to process. Clay, plaster, faience and porcelain were easier in handling but also less prestigious. Metals and alloys, wood, glass, crystal, alabaster, precious and semi-precious minerals, plastic, rubber and whatnot can serve as figurine material. 

The Right Location

Let's examine bronze and marble, two of the most common sculpting media. That includes miniature. Bronze is a rather masculine material. It stands for strength and resilience. That is why bronze figurines look so appropriate in business-related circumstances. Marble, on the other hand, is a more feminine medium whose texture and colour are better suited for the rendition of soft and pure female curves. Marble psyches, naiads and nymphs bring a touch of Yin to a space but look absolutely foreign in an office. Wood, porcelain, glass, alabaster, matte metal and resin are regarded as neutral or universal. 

A handful of figurines will fill a room with a sense of completeness. For decorative figurines, it is important to fit into the context without being overblown. There is a right measure for everything.

Stylistically, marble, bronze and porcelain are perfectly appropriate in a classic environment, since these materials were predominant during the historical period when the classic aesthetics was shaped. Moreover, they befit merely anything from flamboyant gothic to art nouveau. Wood and faience resonate better with contemporary decor and surprisingly add a refreshing touch to a country setting. If your home alludes to Japanese Gothic architecture or its contemporary interpretation -- Japanese minimalism -- porcelain figurines are a rare type of decor that doesn't cut against the minimalist principles. Japanese is not the only type of minimalism. The Scandinavian species of this concept makes a perfect match with clay objects, be it figurines or other household items.

Now that we have the styles broken down, let us dive into genres. Ancient heroes, mythological characters, as well as copies of the iconic monuments of the past are by definition belong in the classic setting. The religious motif is historically tied in with Flamboyant Gothic. That includes marble metaphors of Divine Love, penance, mercy, grace, miniature statuary depictions of profits, saints, angels, etc. Historic genre which incorporates busts, portraits and hermas of historical figures, thinkers, philosophers, scientists, writers, artists, poets -- all that echoes the greatness and the palatial splendour characteristic of Empire style. Beautiful shepherds, marquises, Chinese mandarins, cupids, and combinations thereof made of porcelain are a perfect option for Baroque and Rococo. 

Few words about the placement. Fireplace shelf, coffee and coffee tables, dresser, buffet, window cupboard, hold, wall shelf and even window sill any horizontal surface that can safely accommodate a figurine fits the job perfectly. Contextual placement is determined by other constituents, such as furniture, household appliances, lighting and decor fixtures.

Mantel shelf, one can say, is designed for exactly that. Less so -- nightstand and dresser tops, desks and display cabinets. Niches that are common in both classic and modern architecture are equally suitable for holding figurines. If you have a collection of figurines, it is desirable to have a dedicated space for it or at least a well-lit cabinet. This will add an art gallery element to your home or office. Bigger figurines can be placed straight on the floor. Just make sure they stand in plain view and don't get in the way. Smaller figurines are best gathered in agglomeration so they make a noticeable accent in a room. Preferably, they should have a unifying motif or feature, such as material, genre, historical period, author, technique or colour. 

Our store is a treasure trove of original figurines made by the world's most prominent artists and luxury brands. There is no lack of diversity as regards genres, themes and materials. All of them are full-blown works of art. But the best thing about them is that all of them can make your home feel homier. The wide spectrum of styles and genres empowers you to get creative and implement your own unique vision. Chances are, you are not the only person in your circle who can appreciate a beautiful original figurine. All of them have the makings of a tasteful luxurious present. But be careful. The acquaintance with our ample collection might turn you into an avid figurine collector. We offer quite a few limited-edition designs. You can order them all on our website and we will deliver them to any locale in Ukraine. Our stores in Odessa is where you can see all of the figurines in person.