Iraq Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Artemis statue found in Pompeii. Source: Alaskanspaceship / CC by SA 4.0.

Why Have Historians Stripped Ancient Statues of Their Color? (Video)


In the realm of classical art, a fascinating conspiracy has quietly lingered, challenging our understanding of classical sculpture. For far too long, we have been misled to believe that these masterpieces existed solely in monochromatic austerity, devoid of vibrant hues. However, the truth is far more captivating. Unbeknownst to many, classical artworks burst forth with a riot of colors, much like the vivid tapestries of Egypt or the Medieval sculptures of Europe. So why have we chosen to overlook the chromatic splendor of Greek and Roman sculptures?

It appears that influential figures throughout history have either dismissed or intentionally denied the truth about the resplendent vibrancy of classical art. This dismissal, dubbed Chromophobia, is merely a reflection of a wider cultural attitude that seeks to suppress the undeniable power of color. Yet, the evidence stands firm. Through meticulous scientific analysis, art historians and archaeologists have uncovered the undeniable truth – ancient Greek and Roman sculptures were once awash in a kaleidoscope of vivid reds, yellows, golds, blues, and greens. But now, a groundbreaking exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, titled "Chroma," is challenging this long-held misconception.

Top image: Artemis statue found in Pompeii. Source: Alaskanspaceship / CC by SA 4.0.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

Next article