Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Colors of Ancient Greece

From Smithsonian Magazine:
 Ancient sculptors were very much interested in color as well as form; the white marble statues we admire looked stunningly different in antiquity. They were painted with a palette that displayed a sophisticated understanding of color and shading.
To illustrate how a marble Aphrodite might have appeared to the ancients, we asked German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann, who has pioneered techniques of color restoration, to create a photomechanical reconstruction—never before published—of the first-century A.D. Roman Lovatelli Venus. It was excavated from the ruins of a villa in Pompeii. Unlike most ancient statues, this one gave Brinkmann a head start, because copious evidence of original paint survived. “There are rich traces of pigment which we analyzed using noninvasive methods such as UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy,” he explains. “What we do is absolutely faithful, based on physical and chemical measurements.” (Read entire article.)


julygirl said...

would never have guessed!

tubbs said...

I have heard of this. I think the statues were much more garish than we realize.
And BLOND! that is too much.

Karen said...

Isn't it funny how we think they are so "classically" done all white when in reality they were so very decorative. btw I love smithsonian's website.