Til bevillingsoversigt

The polychromy of Greek and Roman sculpture

Field Trips / Research Stays


The monograph in progress is based on research conducted within the framework of the 'Tracking Colour Project' at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Traces of original colours preserved on Greek and Roman sculptures in the collections of the Glyptotek were investigated by a research team, applying a spectrum of interdisciplinary methodologies. The monograph will view the results obtained on the wider background of the present state of knowledge of the use of colour in ancient sculpture. The latest publication on the subject appeared in 1960.


The polychromy of Greek and Roman sculpture became of scholarly interest from the later 18th century onwards. But only in the 1980s was a completely new chapter opened, to a decisive degree determined by the rise of interdisciplinary methodologies uniting humanities and natural sciences.From around 2000, polychromy research entered its present, formative phase, involving increasing international collaboration. The field is characterized by a fortunate combination of strong public interest and increasing scholarly activity.To sustain the present momentum of research, an up-to-date monograph on the subject is needed.


I will be working in relevant archaeological research libraries in Copenhagen, Rome and Berlin.


As a museum scholar affiliated with collections of Classical sculpture, I see it as my primary Social Scientific Responsibility to contribute to the long term immaterial enrichment of society through museum media.More spefically relevant to the SSR aspect of my project is the fact that the entry of colour brings about a dramatic immediacy in the cognitive impact of ancient sculpture on a present day viewer. The feeling of basic irrelevance induced by a perceived deep chronological divide is replaced by the interaction born of a confrontation in the Now.This promotes an involvement with the past and invites reflection on the values inherited from Antiquity. A common understanding of our position in time and space is a prerequisite for united action when faced with the Grand Challenges.