Gods in Color
Polychromy in the Ancient World
When Renaissance artists sought to imitate ancient sculpture, their medium of choice was pure, white marble, but little did they know that the works they emulated were originally painted in dazzling and powerful hues—from red ocher and cinnabar to azurite and malachite. By illustrating painted reconstructions of well-known sculptures in relation to original examples, this volume reveals how ancient artists in Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Aegean, Greece, and Rome brought unexpected and breathtaking color to their artworks. Accompanying these reproductions are watercolors of Greece’s landscapes dating from different years, which show how our perception of ancient art has changed over time. Generously illustrated, this book testifies that the study of ancient sculpture is incomplete without an understanding of the many ways that color was employed to bring such art to life.
VINZENZ BRINKMANN and ULRIKE KOCH-BRINKMANN are classical archaeologists based in Frankfurt, Germany. RENÉE DREYFUS is Curator in Charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.