The original appearance of Ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture was a topic that triggered lively discussion in the nineteenth century. Excavations in the ancient sanctuaries brought marble sculptures to light bearing extensive remnants of paint. By the early twentieth century, a number of elaborate and costly publications had been produced, documenting the polychromy and proposing colour reconstructions.

In the twentieth century, abstraction in thought and form alike became prevalent in the Western world. The matter of the sensual appearance of ancient art – especially regarding the use of colour and ornament – was long factored out.

  In 1980, the archaeologist Volkmar von Graeve began gathering a team of scientists around him who, since that time, have devoted themselves to colouration and polychromy in ancient times. Extensive long-term investigations of the originals have yielded important publications, much-lauded exhibitions, international partnerships, and reports in international media.    
  The Brinkmann and Brinkmann team started investigation in the field of polychromy and painting in 1980.    

The Stiftung Archäologie ceased operational work in 2016. Most of the polychrome reconstructions, which had been accomplished with the substantial assistance of Stiftung Archäologie, are in the possession of Staedelmuseum/Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung Frankfurt am Main as by August 2016. The Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project is organizing further investigation as well as future reconstruction work.

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(c) Vinzenz Brinkmann 2018