For a long time, I didn’t understand how photography was the “study of light” until I took enough pictures, took the time to see what I was really doing was capturing the light that illuminates the object as much as the object itself. In the same way, I’ve never really understood or appreciated sculpture as capturing light. It was two things that did it for me, seeing and photographing this work Eros and Psyche by Antonio Canova in the Louvre, and seeing an exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs alongside Michaelangelo’s David in the Accademia in Florence.
Sculpture really is the study of light on a volume, the same way that photography is. But it’s in 3D. You can walk around it, see it from all angles, and appreciate the art in a different way. Next time you see a sculpture, whether modern art or classic figures in marble, try to notice how it captures the light.