GODS IN COLOR – GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

January 30, 2020 – January 17, 2021

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Press texts

Download the complete wall texts for the exhibition “GODS IN COLOR—GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity” here.

Press release

GODS IN COLOR—GOLDEN EDITION
Polychromy in Antiquity
January 30 – January 17, 2021 Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung

For more than fifteen years, the polychromy of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture has been captivating the public worldwide. Some three million visitors have experienced the GODS IN COLOR firsthand in the museums of cities such as Athens, Istanbul, Copenhagen, London, Malibu, Mexico City, Munich, Berlin, Rome, Vienna and, most recently, San Francisco—as well as those of renowned universities, among them Harvard and Oxford. The Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung is now presenting a major expanded exhibition allowing a nuanced look at the disconcerting phenomenon of statuary polychromy. “GODS IN COLOR—GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity” features more than 100 objects from international museum collections such as the British Museum in London, the Museo Archeologico in Naples, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, the Archäologisches Institut in Göttingen, and the Skulpturensammlung der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden, as well as the holdings of the Liebieghaus, which encompass 60 recent reconstructions but also some dating from the nineteenth century, along with 22 prints.

“The polychromy of ancient sculpture is a fascinating phenomenon, and one that continues to surprise and astonish us despite in-depth research over the past decades and the publication of important results. The image of white marble sculpture and architecture still dominates our conception of antiquity today. The Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung and a team of scholars around Vinzenz Brinkmann—part of an international research network—untiringly devote themselves to correcting this misconception once and for all. The expanded exhibition “Gods in Color—Golden Edition” at the Liebeighaus Skulpturensammlung presents the latest instructive findings as well as a résumé of forty years of intensive research into the polychromy of ancient sculpture,” Dr. Philipp Demandt, the director of the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, comments on the exhibition.

You can read and download the complete press release here.


Press images

Experimental colour reconstruction of a statue of a woman wrapping herself in a mantle, the so-called Small Herculaneum Woman, 2019, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. LG 223 (on loan from the Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, dept. I: Classical Archaeology, cast collection)
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original with polychromy: Delos, 2nd century BC, marble, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, inv. 1827

Small Herculaneum Woman, 2019

Experimental colour reconstruction of the funerary figure of Phrasikleia, stucco marble on PMMA, natural pigments in egg tempera, lead tin foil, gold leaf, garnet, tourmaline, labradorite, gum arabic (iris), h. 200 cm, 2010/2019, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main (on loan from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Leibniz Prize O. Primavesi 2007), inv. LGLH Z01
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Greece, Attica, Merenda, ca. 520 BC, marble, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, inv. 4889

Experimental colour reconstruction of the funerary figure of Phrasikleia, 2010/2019

Experimental colour reconstruction of a Kouros (statue of a naked young man), stucco marble on plaster cast, natural pigments in egg tempera, h. 153 cm, 2015, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. St.P 709
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Greece, Tenea, ca. 530 BC, marble, State Collections of Antiquities and Glyptothek, Munich, inv. GL 168

Experimental colour reconstruction of a Kouros (statue of a naked young man), 2015

Statue of the Muse in downscaled form, stucco marble on PMMA, natural pigments in egg tempera, gold leaf, h. 39 cm, 2019, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. LG 227 and 226 (on loan from the Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, dept. I: Classical Archaeology, cast collection)
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Greece, Delos (?), 2nd century BC, marble, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main, inv. 160

Statue of the Muse in downscaled form with depiction of vestiges of paint (left) and downscaled Muse, Variant D (right), 2019

Experimental study of the polychromy of the so-called Treu Head, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project in cooperation with the British Museum, London), Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Italy, Rome, 2nd century AD, marble, The British Museum, London, inv. 1884,0617.1

Experimental study of the polychromy of the so-called Treu Head

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant B, of the so-called Cuirass Torso from the Athenian Acropolis, plaster cast, natural pigments in egg tempera, gold leaf, h. ca. 62 cm, 2005, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. St.P 686
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Athens, Acropolis, ca. 470 BC, Acropolis Museum, Athens, inv. 599

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant B, of the so-called Cuirass Torso from the Athenian Acropolis, 2005

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant B, of the so-called Peplos Kore from the Athenian Acropolis, stucco marble on plaster cast, natural pigments in egg tempera, crown and weapons made of gilded and silvered wood, h. 136 cm, 2005, reworked in 2019, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. St.P 687
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung
Original: Athens, ca. 520 BC, marble, Acropolis Museum, Athens, inv. 679

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant B, of the so-called Peplos Kore, 2005, reworked in 2019

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant C, of an archer, the so-called Paris, wearing the costume of the horsemen of the neighbouring peoples to the north and east, from the west pediment of Aphaia Temple, artificial marble, natural pigments in egg tempera, lead, wood, h. 96 cm, 2019, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. St.P 947
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Greece, Aegina, ca. 480 BC, marble, State Collections of Antiquities and Glyptothek, Munich, inv. West XI

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant C, of an archer, the so-called Paris, 2019

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant C, of an archer, the so-called Paris (Detail), wearing the costume of the horsemen of the neighbouring peoples to the north and east, from the west pediment of Aphaia Temple, artificial marble, natural pigments in egg tempera, lead, wood, h. 96 cm, 2019, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. St.P 947
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: Greece, Aegina, ca. 480 BC, marble, State Collections of Antiquities and Glyptothek, Munich, inv. West XI

Experimental colour reconstruction, Variant C, of an archer (Detail), 2019

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

BUNTE GÖTTER - GOLDEN EDITION. Die Farben der Antike

Exhibition view
GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

Exhibition view
GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

Exhibition view
GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

Vinzenz Brinkmann
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

GODS IN COLOR - GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity

Vinzenz Brinkmann und Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung - Norbert Miguletz

BUNTE GÖTTER - GOLDEN EDITION. Die Farben der Antike

Experimental colour reconstructions of the bronze warriors Riace A and Riace B, cast bronze, copper, coloured stones, silver, asphalt, h. 282 cm/208 cm (total), 2015/2016, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main, inv. LG 133, Dep. 65 (on permanent loan from the National Archaeological Museum, Reggio Calabria)
Photo: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung – Norbert Miguletz
Original: from Greece, ca. 440 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Reggio Calabria, inv. 12801, 12802

Experimental colour reconstructions of the bronze warriors Riace A and Riace B, 2015/2016
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