About Ancient Stone

Ancient Stone Sculptures

Sculpture was originally richly embellished with colorful painting, gilding, silvering, and inlay. Such polychromy, which was integral to the meaning and immediacy of such works, has largely been lost in burial and survives today only in fragmentary condition.

Depictions of statuary in Roman wall paintings provide an indication of their diverse appearances in antiquity. Some marble sculptures were completely painted and gilded, effectively obscuring the marble surface; others had more limited, selective polychromy used to emphasize details such as the hair, eyes, and lips and accompanying attributes.

Roman artists used a wide range of pigments, painting media, and surface applications to embellish their marble sculptures.

Text is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This link will redirect you to this site.