Saturday, November 08, 2008

Painted Gentleman

Augustus of Primaporta, Early 1st century CE, reconstructed copy of marble, that is a copy of bronze, with paint.

Sometimes as we look at the art left behind by ancient civilizations we expect that they intended their sculpture to be viewed as the bleached white examples we see today however, that is not the case. The sculpture of the Greeks and the Romans was painted. We know this because remnants of the color survive and in rarer cases, sculpture with the paint still applied survives.
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Colleen said...

Painted? Really? I find it a bit jarring.

How lovely to know, at least for me, that time renders them more beautiful.

Have a great day, Martha!

lizchager said...

It's important to note that our modern concept of ideal beauty is based in large part on notions developed during the Renaissance and subsequent centuries (particularly the 19th). These views in turn were developed from falsely perceived aesthetic ideals in Greek & Roman art. Since color had largely worn off surviving (and buried) classical sculpture in the intervening centuries and scholarship hadn't yet revealed the Greek habit of coloring sculpture, Western culture came to embrace uncolored stone as the "pure" standard of beauty.

For more on colored sculpture, see Venetian Red Post on the Peplos Kore >

pascal said...

Ooo splendid, it is very uncommun to see it in this state... thank you for this post

Kind regards

20.100.dietrich said...

Was working on this statue and found your blog and your profile Pic is just my favorit painting :) Congrat!

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