As the classical sculptures in museums are purely white today, a common misconseption has developed about their colors. However, those marble sculptures were once painted with vibrat colors with a technique called polychromy (meaning “many colors”).
Recently, a new exhibition at the Met called “Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color” has been featuring 40 artworks from the collection of the Manhattan museum as well as 14 full-size reconstructions. In this way, people get to chance to see what these classical sculptures originally looked like
While creating the reconstructions, the polychromy experts, Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, use some technologies such as infrared and ultraviolet light techniques to identify traces of pigments on statues. After determining the original color, they paint the plaster casts or 3D–printed replicas with authentic materials like earth pigments, minerals, tempera and linseed oil.
For more information: metmuseum.org