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 - 11th November, 2022 and will be hosted jointly by the Musei Capitolini and the Museo Nazionale Romano.

The theme will be ‘The Materiality of Polychromy’.

For more info: 11thpolychromyroundtable@gmail.com 

Please note that the Call for Papers is now CLOSED.

Added: 22/04/2022  

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Latest News

Webinar to honour the late Dr. Susanna Bracci (ISPC-CNR)

Tuesday 24th May, 2022. 9.00-12.30 CET

A webinar is scheduled for the morning of Tuesday 24th May as a tribute to the research activities of the late Dr. Susanna Bracci of ISPC-CNR.

Please note that the webinar will be in Italian. 

More information of the program of the day here.

Register for the event on Eventbrite here.

Added: 16/05/2022.

                                                                                                                                                   More News

Latest Publications

New articles!

"Ancient Restoration in Roman Polychromy: Detecting Aesthetic Changes?"

Elisabetta Neri, Nesrine Nasr and David Strivay

Heritage 2022, 5(2), 829-848.

Read free and open-access here: https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020045

Published - 06/04/2022.

"Architectural Polychromy on the Athenian Acropolis: An In Situ Non-Invasive Analytical Investigation of the Colour Remains"

Eleni Aggelakopoulou, Sophia Sotiropoulou and Georgios Karagiannis

Heritage 2022, 5(2), 756-787.

Read free and open-access here: https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020042

Published - 01/04/2022.

"An Insight into Gandharan Art: Materials and Techniques of Polychrome Decoration"

Anna Lluveras-Tenorio, Alessia Andreotti, Fabio Talarico, Stefano Legnaioli, Luca M. Olivieri, Maria Perla Colombini,Ilaria Bonaduce and Simona Pannuzi

Heritage 2022, 5(1), 488-508.

Read free and open-access here: https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5010028


Published - 02/03/2022
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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

17th International Colloquium on Roman Provincial Art – Vienna / Carnuntum

May 16th – May 21st, 2022.

The main topic of the conference will be stone monuments of the Roman provinces in their various forms of appearance as components of architectural and sculptural ensembles or as bearers of inscriptions.

A session will be devoted to polychromy on these monuments and related research methods.

More information here 

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