1/30 – 8/30/2020
For more than fifteen years, the polychromy of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture has been fascinating the public worldwide. Some three million visitors have experienced the “Gods in Color” firsthand in the museums of cities such as Munich, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Malibu and Copenhagen, Vienna, London, Mexico City and, most recently, San Francisco.
Starting on 30 January 2020, the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung is opening a major expanded exhibition allowing a nuanced look at the phenomenon of statuary polychromy. Under the direction of Vinzenz Brinkmann, the head of the Liebieghaus antiquity collection, an international team of scientists have been researching statuary polychromy for some forty years. Their work has inspired new research projects on the polychromy of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture at universities and museums in many countries. The primary focus of these projects is scientific analysis. Within this context, the history of how scholars responded to polychromy in the period from the mid-eighteenth century to World War I—and the extensive accompanying reconstruction activities—have been subjects of particular interest. The number of reconstructions has moreover doubled, and new aspects have come under consideration, for example the polychromy of ancient bronzes.
The exhibition will present more than 100 objects from international museum collections and the Liebieghaus holdings, including 60 recent reconstructions but also some dating from the nineteenth century, as well as 22 prints.