Gods in Color
Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity

8 October 2008 – 15 February 2009

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Antique marble sculpture was not white, but colored. This is amply and overwhelmingly attested to by ancient literary sources. Whereas the incontestable fact that ancient sculpture was colored was suppressed during the Italian Renaissance, it was recalled in the nineteenth century; in the twentieth century, it once again paled into insignificance, giving way to an aestheticism directed at clarity. Numerous traces of the original polychromy in antique sculpture have survived. They bear testimony to Greek and Roman statues having worn elaborately ornamented garments painted with precious pigments. For 25 years, an international team of scholars led by Vinzenz Brinkmann, head of the Collection of Antiques of the Liebieghaus, has been conducting research that has brought to light a multitude of new findings. The exhibition Gods in Color has resulted from this research project and has been displayed with great success in venues in Europe and the United States, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University in Cambridge. A considerably extended version of this show will now be presented in the Liebieghaus in Frankfurt. It juxtaposes some 70 originals – such as polychrome terracottas, marble statuary, and mummy portraits – with more than 30 spectacular reconstructions bringing "colorful antiquity” back to life. The highlight of the show in the Liebieghaus is a reconstruction of the so-called Persian Horseman from the Acropolis of Athens, whose colors have survived particularly well. It was especially made for the presentation in Frankfurt and will thus be shown for the first time.

This exhibition is mainly sponsored by the Bank of America and Škoda Auto Deutschland GmbH.
Further support has come from Caparol Farben Lacke Bautenschutz, the FAZIT-Foundation and Karstadt Frankfurt-Zeil.

Curator: Prof. Dr. Vinzenz Brinkmann, Head of the Collection of Antiques, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung


Sponsored by
Bank of America
Škoda Auto Deutschland GmbH

Mit zusätzlicher Unterstützung von                             Medianpartners
Alphaform AG                                                                      Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Caparol                                                                                 hr2 kultur
Fazit-Stiftung                                                                        Saatchi&Saatchi
Karstadt Frankfurt                                                                VGF

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