Gods in ColourPainted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity
An exhibition of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in cooperation with the Stiftung Archäologie, Munich, and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main
Gleaming white marble and limestone sculptures dominate our image of the Mediterranean world in classical antiquity. However, we know that ancient architecture and sculptures were once painted in vivid colours - because classical authors describe them and because 19th century archaeologist discovered remainders of paint in the course of their excavations in Italy and Greece.
The exhibition Gods in Colour focuses on the sometimes striking now-lost polychromy of classical statues. This much-noticed travelling exhibition was initiated by Vinzenz Brinkmann and Raimund Wünsche and was first shown at the Gyptothek in Munich in 2003. Continually updated and adapted, it has since been hosted by numerous European and non-European museums.
Based on decades of research, the show presents painted reproductions of the examined originals. Made of plaster or cast marble, these models are displayed throughout the galleries housing the KHM’s permanent collection of Greek and Roman art, setting off the originals and inviting visitors to see them with new eyes.