The International Round Table on Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture or the “Polychromy Round Table” is a series of meetings dedicated to the study of the polychromy of ancient sculpture and architecture.

The subject of colour in the ancient world has long fascinated scholars. Within the realm of Classical art, historians stretching back to the late eighteenth century have periodically addressed the topic that sculpture and architectural elements from the Greco-Roman world, and beyond, were originally highly coloured.

Recently, interest in this field has once more been reinvigorated by the advent of new scientific techniques and methodologies, as well as by a community of diverse and interdisciplinary scholars, dedicated to the study of the polychromy of ancient sculpture and architecture.

Since 2009, this growing network of scholars has met on a series of occasions(see Past Meetings), first held annually and, since 2016, biennially.

The meetings have a strong tradition of providing an excellent opportunity for experts from a wide range of fields (archaeologists, architectural historians, scientists, conservators, museum and digital humanities professionals) to discuss new research in a stimulating multidisciplinary setting. Papers from a variety of perspectives are encouraged and cover many aspects of polychromy in ancient sculpture and architecture.

PRT1_Meeting

The first meeting of the Polychromy Round Table, held at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen in 2009, was made up of only 11 participants. By comparison, 2020's virtual meeting had more than 300 registrants.

Image © Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

This website collects the experience of these productive and rich encounters at the Polychromy Round Table, in the form of past programmes, abstracts and published proceedings. It also aims to provide a focal point for this network and research community to share news on its investigations, publications and events.

In the inclusive spirit of the Polychromy Round Table and its network, this site also aims to reach out to other researchers who may be considering the subject of ancient polychromy from the Greco-Roman world or relevant comparative studies from their own interdisciplinary viewpoints, geographical areas and time periods. Contact us here or on polychromyroundtable@gmail.com.

Latest information on the next Polychromy Round Table meeting

The 11th International Round Table on Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture will be held in Rome between the 9th - 12th November, 2022 and will be hosted jointly by the Musei Capitolini and the Museo Nazionale Romano.

The theme will be ‘The Materiality of Polychromy’.

The meeting will open at the Musei Capitolini on Wednesday 9th November, and will continue at the Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Massimo on Thursday 10th and the morning of Friday 11th. In the afternoon there will be a visit to the Museo delle Terme and the meeting of the steering group. A poster session will be organized at the Centrale Montemartini, on the morning of Saturday 12th.

For more info: 11thpolychromyroundtable@gmail.com 

Added: 01/08/2022  

PRT11_Rome_2ndCircular_CallForPapers.pdf PRT11_Rome_2ndCircular_CallForPapers.pdf
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Please note that the Call for Papers is now CLOSED.

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Latest News

Welcome to new PRT Web Team Member, Dr Eleni Aggelakopoulou!

Dr Eleni Aggelakopoulou joins the PRT Web Team this month as its newest member! She is a chemical engineer, and holds an MSc in the “Protection of Monuments: Materials and Restoration Interventions” and a PhD in the field of “Restoration mortars design for historic structures”. Currently, she works in the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as the Head of the Technical Office for the Acropolis Monuments Surface Conservation. In the past, she has worked as a researcher in the School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens.

More information on her work and research interests here. See also here.

Added: 20/06/2022

Image © Eleni Aggelakopoulou

                                                                                                                                                   More News

Latest Publications

New articles!

"Reconstructions of Roman Polychrome Architecture: Evidence, Ideal, and Ideology."

Stephan Zink

in Elisha Ann Dumser, and Dorian Borbonus (eds), Building the Classical World: Bauforschung as a Contemporary Approach (New York, 2022; online edn, Oxford Academic, 23 June 2022), https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190690526.003.0014

More information on the volume here.

Published - 23/06/2022.

"Polychromy in Roman Portraits from Asido (Medina Sidonia, Cádiz, Spain). LiviaGermanicus and Drusus Minor"

Carlos P. Odriozola, José Beltrán Fortes, María Luisa Loza Azuaga and José María Martínez Blanes

Herit Sci 10, 108 (2022). 

Read free and open-access here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-022-00734-1

Published - 09/07/2022.

"Palmyrene Polychromy: Investigations of Funerary Portraits from Palmyra in the Collections of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen"

Cecilie Brøns, Jens Stenger, Jørn Bredal-Jørgensen, Fabiana Di Gianvincenzo and Luise Ørsted Brandt

Heritage 2022, 5(2), 1199-1239.

Read free and open-access here: https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020063

Published - 01/06/2022.

New books!

"The Polychromy of Etruscan Sculpture on the basis of selected objects from European Museums" (Doctoral Thesis)

Julia Großekathöfer

Published by Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

This publication is based on the visual examination and photographic
documentation of more than seventy-five exemplary Etruscan objects. This alone gives the reader a first insight into the aesthetic and narrative
functions of colour in Etruscan sculpture. The text section focuses on
the evaluation of the material, while the catalog illustrates the
description of the objects. Finally, a tabular overview provides the
basis for determining more precisely the painting technique of an
Etruscan object in its dependence on form and time.

Dr Großekathöfer obtained her doctorate on 22 July 2016 and is currently doing a scientific traineeship - in addition to her work as a museum educator - at the LWL-Römermuseum Haltern am See.

Open access to the book is available here.

Published - 07/03/2022.

"Textiles in Ancient Mediterranean Iconography"

Editors: Cecilie Brøns, Susanna Harris, Marta Żuchowska

Published by Oxbow Books.

This volume provides an ambitious synopsis of the complex, colourful world of textiles in ancient Mediterranean iconography. A wealth of information on ancient textiles is available from depictions such as sculpture, vase painting, figurines, reliefs and mosaics. Includes several chapters on polychromy in ancient sculpture.

More information (including how to order) here.

Open access to the book is available here.

Published - 28/02/2022.

Upcoming Events

"BLUENET 2022" conference - Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei & Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, Rome.

5th October 2022.

The first BLUENET conference, organized within the activities of the Lincei Center of Cultural Heritage Villa Farnesina (CERIF) will officially present the recently established BLUENET network. 

There will be four main sessions on Egyptian Blue focusing on its history, use, detection techniques and on going research. Please find the updated programme here. 

The conference will be hosted in the morning by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and in the afternoon at the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, Rome. It will be a hybrid meeting. 

More about BLUENET here.
For more info contact: bluenet2020@libero.it

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© Copyright J. Dyer @ British Museum