Lifestyle Books and Art 23 Oct 2018 Experts reveal ancie ...

Experts reveal ancient white marble sculptures were originally colourfully painted

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Oct 23, 2018, 7:38 pm IST
Updated Oct 23, 2018, 7:42 pm IST
Academics have found microscopic evidence of a variety of colours on many statues using ultra-high resolution imagery.
Representational Image. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Representational Image. (Photo: Pixabay)

Museums across the world contain a treasure of marble statues from various times in history.

Those sculptures are depicted in books and TV as being whitewashed.

 

However, experts reveal these pieces of art from ancient Rome and Greece, presumed to be white, were once very colourful works of art, the Daily Mail reported.

Academics have found microscopic evidence of a variety of colours on many statues using ultra-high resolution imagery to "detect the presence of past pigmentation", the report revealed.

"[It] is the most common misconception about Western aesthetics in the history of Western art," Mark Abbe, now a professor of ancient art at the University of Georgia, who has been investigating this subject, told The New Yorker.

He has studying the pigmentation on ancient pieces of art for decades.  However, when he re-examined the ruins at Aphrodisia, which was destroyed by an earthquake in seventh century AD, he found many pieces had flecks of colour.

"Saying you've seen these sculptures when you've seen only the white marble is comparable to somebody coming from the beach and saying they've seen a whale because there was a skeleton on the beach," Jan Stubbe Østergaard, a former curator at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen, is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

 Østergaard is also a founder of an international research network on polychromy - art of painting in several colours.

Vinzenz Brinkmann, a master's student in classics and archaeology from Ludwig Maximilian University and his wife have started the exhibition'Gods in Colour' to bring awareness to this fascinated almost lost piece of history.

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