Photo Credit: Vatican Museums Photo
At the heart of this controversy--were Greek (and Roman) statues originally colorized--is, in part, our present concept of what ancient sculpture looks like and SHOULD look like. We are all so schooled in a mental image imprinted since we first looked at ancient statues. They're white marble--right? And anything that alters that pre-conceived notions runs head-long into our mental template. NO NO NO--our brains scream, when presented with a colorized statue.
But I find the prospect intriguing. Frankly I find Brinkmann's arguments, and his research, persuasive.
Several years ago, we visited our daughter who was doing a semester abroad at University of Glasgow. We then traveled to London, and visited the British Museum, where we viewed the "Elgin Marbles"--the statuary that originally graced the Parthenon.
Now, I find the above work perfectly lovely, but how I see this statue is not the way the ancient Greeks would have seen it. They would have seen these larger than life statues in living color, high on a hill that could be seen from anywhere in ancient Athens. Imagine!
Photo credit and quote from magazine: "The painted replica of a c. 490 B.C. archer (at the Parthenon in Athens) testifies to German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann’s painstaking research into the ancient sculpture’s colors. The original statue came from the Temple of Aphaia on the Greek island of Aegina."
Stiftung Archäologie, Munich