The polychromy of Greek and Roman sculpture

Name of applicant

Jan Stubbe Østergaard


Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


DKK 2,924



Type of grant

Field Trips / Research Stays < 100,000


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.

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