As the ancient Greek painted statue

• How stained ancient Greek statues

As the ancient Greek painted statue

Time so thoroughly discolor the artifacts of previous civilizations that trips to the museum with a view to admire, such as ancient Greek statues, do not give an accurate idea of ​​what they looked like at the time. But research still change.

"For us, the classical antiquity is white marble, - writes Matthew Gurevich (Matthew Gurewitsch) of Smithsonian magazine. - But not so thought the ancient Greeks, who represented their gods in all colors and, accordingly, they are portrayed. The temples in which they were, too, were full of colors, as the grandiose scenery. Time and atmospheric phenomena have erased most of the shades. And for centuries the people who should have been better to know about it, pretended to be the color is almost irrelevant. " But today, expertise, combining the use of ultraviolet light and infrared, and X-ray spectroscopy revealed the very colors that these seemed colorless statues once attracted attention.

As the ancient Greek painted statue

Augustus of Prima Porta. Statue of Octavian Augustus, Caesar's great-nephew and founder of the Roman Empire.

German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann (Vinzenz Brinkmann), "armed with a high-intensity lamp, ultraviolet light, cameras, plaster casts and jars of expensive powdered minerals," "the last quarter-century trying to revive the peacock splendor of Greece." Brinkmann engaged in "the creation of full-scale plaster and marble copies with hand-painted of the same mineral and organic pigments that were used of old green malachite, blue of azurite, yellow and ocher from the arsenic compounds, the red of vermilion, black from burnt bones and vines ". The results can be seen below in the video published on YouTube Getty Museum. Track colors of ancient sculptures:

Reaction of modern people for the opening of the original colors of ancient Greek statues, so to speak, remains ambiguous. We are accustomed to admire the rigor of white marble, which is associated with the idea of ​​purity. Therefore, bold colors that reveal Brinkmann and his staff, at first sight, even for a second, can hit and seem garish and tasteless. But no matter how you rethink their aesthetics, it is impossible not imbued with a kind of joy from the fact that the ancient world continues to present us with surprises.

As the ancient Greek painted statue

Archer in the image of the Trojan prince Paris from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaea. Wikipedia.

As the ancient Greek painted statue

Original sculptures. Wikipedia.