Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity

, Arthur M. Sackler Museum
  • Youthful Hero or God
  • Bust of Antonia the Younger
  • Mummy Mask of a Man
  • Servant with Bowls
  • Head of a Bearded Man
  • Funerary Relief of a Woman and Two Children
  • Tetradrachm of Philip II of Macedonia, Amphipolis
  • Tetradrachm of Philip III of Macedonia, Babylon
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Amphipolis?
  • Tetradrachm of Ptolemy I, Alexandria
  • Tetradrachm of Antiochos I Soter of Syria, Seleucia on the Tigris
  • Mummy Portrait of a Woman with Earrings
  • Denarius of Severus Alexander
  • Aureus of Lucius Verus, Rome
  • Tetradrachm of Philip II of Macedonia, Pella
  • Emperor Trajan
  • Funerary Relief of a Woman
  • Head of a Female Figure of the Spedos Variety
  • Female Figure Carrying a Basket of Figs from the Tomb of Mentu-em-het
  • Head of an Archer of the Royal Guard
  • Head of an Archer of the Royal Guard
  • Mummy Portrait of a Woman
  • Servant with Covered Bowl
  • Didrachm of Amyntas III of Macedonia
  • As of Trajan, Rome
  • Sestertius of Antoninus Pius struck for his wife Faustina I, Rome
  • Octodrachm of Alexander I of Macedonia
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander I of Macedonia
  • Tetradrachm of Demetrios Poliorketes of Macedonia, Amphipolis
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Amphipolis?
  • Imitation of Silver Tetradrachm of Philip II of Macedonia, Uncertain Celtic Mint, Pannonia
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Babylon
  • Solidus of Constantine I, Sirmium
  • Obol of Demetrios of Baktria
  • Tetradrachm of Aesillas as Quaestor in Macedonia, Thessalonike
  • Tetradrachm of Antiochos I Soter of Syria, Seleucia on the Tigris
  • Tetradrachm of Seleucus I, Seleucia on the Tigris
  • Coin of Alexander the Great, Macedonia mint
  • coin of the Province of Macedonia under the Romans, First Neocory under Severus Alexander
  • Denarius of Sextus Pompey, Sicily
  • Emperor Tiberius
  • Stater of Philip II of Macedonia, Pella
  • Aureus of Septimius Severus, Rome
  • Tetradrachm of Eumenes I of Pergamon
  • Cistophorus of Augustus, Ephesus
  • Dupondius of Claudius in the name of his mother  Antonia, Rome
  • Distater of Alexander the Great, Amphipolis
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Kition
  • Stater of the Catuvellauni, Britain
  • Stater of the Catuvellauni, Britain
  • Coin of Alexander the Great, Western Asia Minor
  • Coin of Ptolemy I
  • Coin of Ptolemy II, Alexandria
  • Sestertius of Philip I, Rome
  • Tetradrachm of Mithradates VI of Pontus
  • Tetradrachm of Abyatha, Gerrha?
  • Sarcophagus Sections with Men Fighting Amazons
  • Recalcitrant Taxpayers
  • Head of a Female Figure of the Spedos Variety
  • Sphinx
  • Bearded Man, Possibly Emperor Macrinus
  • Attic Grave Stele: Woman Dying in Childbirth
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Sardis
  • Head of Ares, Roman copy after a Greek original of c. 430-420 BC
  • Funerary Relief of a Man and Child
  • Fragment of a Wall Relief: Head of a Winged Protective Spirit
  • Ahuramazda in the Winged Disk
  • Head of an Eastern Woman (
  • Female Figure of the Spedos Variety
  • coin of the Koinon of Macedonia, Second Neocory under Gordian III
  • Denarius of L. Aemilius Buca, Rome
  • Denarius of Octavian, Moving Mint
  • Denarius of Brutus, Rome
  • Tetradrachm of Demetrios Poliorketes of Macedonia, Amphipolis
  • Imitation of Silver Tetradrachm of Philip II of Macedonia, Uncertain Celtic Mint, Pannonia
  • Tetradrachm of Philip III of Macedonia, Salamis
  • Tetradrachm of Ptolemy I as Satrap, Alexandria
  • Tetradrachm of Lysimachos,  Lampsakos
  • Sestertius of Nero, Rome
  • Tetradrachm of Mithradates VI of Pontus
  • Tetradrachm of Philetairos of Pergamon
  • Aureus of Diocletian, Antioch
  • Coin of the Province of Macedonia under Gordian III Africanus, B neocoros
  • Cycladic Head
  • Stater of Ptolemy I of Egypt, Kyrene
  • Stater of Ptolemy I of Egypt, Kyrene
  • Bowl
  • Emperor Lucius Verus
  • Tetradrachm of Lysimachos, Lampsakos
  • As of Tiberius, Rome
  • Denarius of Macrinus, Rome
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Odessos
  • Distater of Alexander the Great, uncertain Macedonian mint
  • Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, Tarsos
  • Julia Domna
  • Tetradrachm of Ptolemy I
  • Tetradrachm of Ptolemy I as Satrap, Alexandria
  • Stater of Philip II of Macedonia, Pella
  • Didrachm of Amyntas III of Macedonia
  • Aureus of Vespasian, Rome
Arthur M. Sackler Museum

Imagine a stroll through ancient Athens among colorful statues and brightly decorated temples—in contrast with the colorless stone ruins that survive today. This exhibition presents full-size copies of Greek and Roman sculpture whose painted decoration, faded over the millennia, has been painstakingly reconstructed.

The color reconstructions are based on close examination and scientific analysis of the scarce traces of paint remaining on the surfaces of the originals and include a number of well-known masterpieces, such as the Peplos Kore from the Athenian Akropolis, pedimental sculpture from the Temple of Aphaia on Aegina, and the so-called Alexander Sarcophagus. The reconstructions will be juxtaposed in the galleries with ancient statues and reliefs from the museum's own collection in their current colorless state of preservation. The exhibition opens up a world of richly attired deities, proud warriors, and barbarians in dazzling costume and dispels a popular misconception of Western art: the white marble statue of classical antiquity. Organized by the Stiftung Archäologie and the Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich, and curated at the Harvard Art Museum by Susanne Ebbinghaus, George M. A. Hanfmann Curator of Ancient Art; and Amy Brauer, Diane Heath Beever Associate Curator of Ancient Art. A brochure accompanies this exhibition.