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Painting Classical Sculpture

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Painting Classical Sculpture

Postby paulusnb » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:13 pm

I do not generally see much posted hear outside of language issues, but here goes...

I have always wondered about painting on Greek/Roman sculpture. I know the marble was painted, and I have seen pictures of this. However, I also know that many of the marble statues we have "from Greece" are actually Roman copies of Greek bronzes. I know that some of Bronzes had painted eyes and, if memory serves, lips.

What I have always wondered and cannot seem to find is how much the Bronzes were painted, if at all. Did the Greeks paint the arms, for example? From what I understand of the marble, sometimes the painting was accent ( a cloak or eyes) and I have seen reproductions, via an exhibit online from Harvard, that shows painted skin (really, really cheesy looking).

Does anyone know anything concrete in this area? Does anyone know a trustworthy text to go to? I have books on sculpture, but some are not detailed enough, and some are too old to be of use in this area.

Here is a picture from the Museum at Athens

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... l%26sa%3DG

Here are some pictures from the Harvard show

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... l%26sa%3DG


One of these articles mentions this book http://www.amazon.com/Color-Life-Polych ... 255&sr=1-1

Does anyone know anything about this stuff?
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: Painting Classical Sculpture

Postby Scribo » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:59 pm

Also the Romans used different coloured marble. Yes, seriously. Amazing, check out stuff by Strong and D'Ambra if you're interesting. I'm guessing any painting of marble would look guady to our modern eyes.
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Re: Painting Classical Sculpture

Postby paulusnb » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:14 pm

Scribo wrote:I'm guessing any painting of marble would look guady to our modern eyes.


Actually, I have seen some Renaissance sculptures that were painted rather tastefully. I think that most polychrome restorations are gaudy on purpose to spit in the eye of the prejudiced viewer. I mean, the guy who painted the Kritios Boy would have done a better job than a modern museum. Would you trust someone to repaint the Sistine Chapel to bring back the colors?

Here is a nicely painted statue

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/145/4224 ... a1.jpg?v=0
and
http://img1.liveinternet.ru/images/atta ... ragona.jpg

Compare to what Harvard did above.


Thanks for the source. I will check it out. :D
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift
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Re: Painting Classical Sculpture

Postby Scribo » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:28 pm

Ah good point. Yes those sources are rather good...recommended by my lecturer on Roman Art and Archaeology. However I must profess small interest and even less ability in that area.

I fell in love with art from the Hadrianic period...and some of the later Christian stuff (the windows for example, near the end of the Strong book) are captivating.
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