Gods in Color –
Golden Edition

1/30–8/30/2020

POLYCHROMY IN ANTIQUITY

The “Gods in Color” are returning to Frankfurt

For more than fifteen years, the polychromy of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture has been captivating the public worldwide. Some three million visitors have experienced the GODS IN COLOR firsthand in museums worldwide.

The Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung is now presenting a major expanded exhibition allowing a nuanced look at the disconcerting phenomenon of statuary polychromy. “GODS IN COLOR—GOLDEN EDITION: Polychromy in Antiquity” features more than 100 objects from international museum collections and the holdings of the Liebieghaus, which encompass 60 recent reconstructions but also some dating from the nineteenth century, along with 22 prints.
Since the exhibition GODS IN COLOR was first on view in Frankfurt in 2008, the number of reconstructions carried out by the research team has doubled, and new aspects have come under consideration, for example the polychromy of ancient bronzes.

Most recent findings on the polychromy of ancient sculpture

Originally, the painted decoration of an antique sculpture not only enhanced its appearance from the aesthetic point of view and increased its lifelike impression, but also provided the ancient viewer with important information about the identity of the figure depicted. Over the past decade, research has focused increasingly on this aspect. In the process, new interpretation proposals have been developed not only in the context of large-scale Greek bronzes, but also for numerous marble sculptures. In the ancient world of the eastern Mediterranean region, the use of color was par for the course. For the Greeks and Romans, however, the painting of sculpture was far more than superficial decoration. Rather, polychromy had means of its own for expanding the formal and narrative structure of the artwork. It was only through the dimension of color that artists achieved the desired vibrancy of expression.

Curator: Prof. Dr. Vinzenz Brinkmann (Head of the Department of Antiquity, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung)

Sponsored by: Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain
With additional support from: Georg und Franziska Speyer’sche Hochschulstiftung, FAZIT-STIFTUNG, German Federal Ministry for Education and Research within the framework of the research project “The University Collection as a Living Archive: Teaching and Research between the Poles of Materiality and Mediality” with the Goethe University Frankfurt

Film

Gallery

Digital Offers

Now available as free App: The Audio Guide

The audio guide offers an insightful tour of the exhibition. On the way, the image of antiquity as a vibrantly colorful age comes alive in numerous sculptures and reconstructions. The 60-minute app contains audio tracks on some 30 works of art, enhanced with illustrations.

Easy to download onto your smartphone anywhere you have Internet access. Available for iOS and Android operation systems.

More info

The Digitorial®

Before your visit, the digitorial – the online preparation for the exhibition – will acquaint you with everything worth knowing about the GODS IN COLOR.

To the digitorial