December 21, 2016 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday
The Colors of Ancient Greece
Tracing the Colors of Ancient Sculpture- Science and Art – Getty Museum
Using ultraviolet and raking light, archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann examines marble sculptures of Athena and Paris from the Temple of Aphaia, now in the Glyptothek in Munich. In the process, he reveals examples of physical evidence used to inform the recreations of the original color design and paint.
‘“I knew, of course, that Greek and Roman sculpture was once painted,”’says Susanne Ebbinghaus, Hanfmann curator of ancient art at the Harvard University Art Museums, “but there is a big difference between this abstract notion and actually attempting to imagine what the sculptures might have looked like.”’ Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity the Arthur M. Sackler Museum.
‘“We now assume that almost all Greek marble sculpture was painted,” she says. “These reconstructions can only be approximations,” but at least they dispel a popular misconception—that most statues of antiquity were plain old white. Plain would not be thought ideal until the Renaissance.’
“Organized by Munich’s Stiftung Archäologie and the Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, the exhibition drew crowds at home in 2004 and then began traveling. Athenians in long lines were fascinated and shocked. In Hamburg, says Ebbinghaus, some museum-goers proclaimed that Classical art was now dead for them.”