Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD CLASSICAL DICTIONARY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 April 2019

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman

Summary and Keywords

The polychromy of Greek and Etrusco-Roman architecture comprises the chromatic effects and surface treatments of exterior façades and roofs, as well as interior floors, walls, and ceilings. Colour and/or contrasts of light and shadow are the basis for all architectural ornamentation. The practice is characterized by a large variety of materials and techniques, which draw from different genres of the visual arts such as stone, plaster and stucco working, toreutics, tessellation, sculpture, panel painting, terracotta, and glass making. The treatment of architectural surfaces is thus intimately connected to changes in both construction knowledge and building economies, while their visual effects depend on changing architectural forms and designs. Both texts and archaeological remains underline the importance of colour and material as an integral part of ancient architectural design; they play a key role for the sensory and atmospheric experience of architecture and could influence its symbolic meaning.

Despite strong regional traditions and a general lack of standardization, a few overall developments can be pinpointed: a triple colour scheme of dark (black, blue), light (white, cream), and red hues dominated both Archaic Greek and Etrusco-Italic architectural polychromy; its chromatic polarity became fundamental for the Greek Doric order and, as a basic combination, it remained a recurring motif of architectural surfaces into the Roman Imperial periods. During the Greek Classical period, green, yellow, and increasingly, gilding joined the basic colour palette. Late Classical/Hellenistic innovations included illusionistic painting techniques, intermediality (the imitation of one material by means of another), as well as the increase of light and shadow effects. While variation (Greek poikilia) of both colours and materials was a guiding principle, it seems that there were also occasional reductions of polychrome accentuations on exteriors.

Etrusco-Italic and Roman architecture participated in many of these developments, despite its own materiality and designs. On Italic soil, some of the Hellenistic concepts were even brought to entirely new levels of application, especially the achievement of colour effects through an antithetical combination of material colours (coloured marbles, metals), which became a veritable signature of Roman architecture. The concept of variation (Latin varietas) remained fundamentally important, especially for interiors; mono- or bichromatisms were also advanced, along with stark light and shadow contrasts achieved through surface carving and texturing. Rather than specific colour combinations, Late Antique and early Byzantine architecture favored general polychromacity and, in particular, surfaces with light-bearing qualities to create effects of glitter, brilliance, and reflectance; they were seen as a quality of divinity.

Keywords: architecture, colour, polychromy, construction, material, design, aesthetic, surface treatment, surface decoration, columnar orders, architectural ornament

Materials, Techniques, and Analytical Challenges

In principle, surface effects could be achieved by exploiting the natural colour and texture of a construction material, or by applying a coating (such as paint) to a carrier material. Often, the two methods were combined.1 Natural colour effects relied on compact and thus grindable, polishable, and weather-resistant rocks (such as marbles, granites, and porphyries), or on the colours of terracotta and brickwork. In both interiors and exteriors, luxurious materials such as precious woods and ivory as well as light-reflective glass, (semi) precious stones, gold, and silver added to effects of colour, shine, and brilliance. Throughout all periods, bronze in various hues (due to different alloys and surface treatments) was more important as an architectural surface material than the scarce remains suggest.2 For colour coatings, the basic pigment palette, which was universally applied in both Greek and Etrusco-Roman architecture and also to sculpture, included minerals (iron oxides of local origin and in shades of red, yellow, green, and brown), artificially produced pigments (Egyptian blue, lead white, calcium carbonate white, orpiment), and organic colours (carbon black). More precious and brighter pigments (green malachite, blue azurite, red cinnabar) were usually applied on protected surfaces and architectural sculpture.3

Different carrier materials have specific technical requirements for colour coating. The three main techniques for applying paint layers on stone or wood are differentiated by the specific binding agents, which ensure the adhesion of pigments to the surface. Although these techniques were often combined, they represent different chemical and material processes. The most common and also the most economic painting technique for architectural surfaces used lime as a binder; mixed with water and pigment powder, the colourant was applied on a fresh, lime-based preparation layer (so-called fresco technique) or on a dry ground (secco technique). The second technique (tempera), which must have been frequent on architecture, even if still rarely scientifically evidenced, used organic binders such as egg white, animal glue, oil, or gum, thus allowing the application of paint directly on a smooth surface of stone or wood. And the third technique (encaustic) mixed pigment powders with heated wax and oil and then applied the colourant with a sort of spatula; known primarily from literary evidence, it was probably an invention of the 4th century bce and limited to particularly lavish and protected architectural elements, such as ceiling coffers.4

On terracotta, coloured clay slips were applied with a brush and fired in different stages, as certain pigments are more temperature-sensitive than others; further colour refinements and gilding were added post-firing. Late Republican architectural terracottas were often coated with a thick white layer of fine stucco, which was then painted or left reserved.5 Since the beginnings of stone construction, porous or coarse stones were coated with a finishing layer of lime-based covering stucco for protection and/or surface homogenization prior to painting.6 During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, opus marmoratum, stucco with special aggregate materials (such as marble powder and kaolin) and polishing took on a perfectly homogenous whiteness and even glass-like brilliance.7 Lime-based covering plaster, on which wall paintings were applied, was similar in composition to stucco, but used different aggregates (sands, volcanic ashes). Hellenistic sources also refer to varnishes with thin stucco coatings (koniama), whitewashes (leukōma), or fine treatments with pitch (aloiphē) to tune the colour of marble column shafts and ceilings.8 Famously known cera Punica or ganōsis, surface treatments with heated wax (Vitr. 7.9.3–4, Plin. HN 33.40.122; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 287d), were recommended for the protection and homogenization of both architectural and sculptural marble surfaces, but so far have never been scientifically verified on architecture. Coating with leaf gold or silver was found on all carrier materials (stone, terracotta, stucco, bronze), usually as reflective highlight; mostly, it was applied on a preparatory layer of a clayish earth pigment (bolus) in different colours (often reddish-orange); these preparatory layers often are the only surviving evidence of former gilding.9

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 1. Athens, Propylaia (437–432 bce); left: ceiling coffer with painting shadows (D-DAI-ATH-Akropolis-0830, cropped by author); right: reconstruction of Louis-François-Philippe Boitte, 1864. Marie-Françoise Billot, “Recherches aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles sur la polychromie de l’architecture grecque.” In Paris–Rome–Athènes: Le voyage en Grèce des architectes français aux XIXe et XXe siècles. Edited by Marie-Christine Hellmann, Philippe Fraisse, and Marie-Louise Cazalas (Paris: École nationale supérieure de Beaux Arts, 1982), 101, Fig. 63.

As coatings are prone to erosion and decay, data collection comes with a series of analytical problems.10 On marble, sometimes only “ghost patterns” of formerly painted ornaments survive, resulting from the fact that painted and reserved surfaces erode differently (figure 1). Secondary surface effects further exacerbate the identification of colour remains: pigments can be washed down from one element to another; some pigments also change their hues under the impact of oxidation. Furthermore, geochemical and/or bioorganic processes can cause the formation of coloured patinas (a.k.a. scialbatura), which are often difficult to separate from anthropogenic coatings without scientific analysis.11 The possibility of ancient restoration (repainting and/or re-stuccoing) also needs to be kept in mind—a Corinthian capital from Olympia (entrance to the Stadium) was repainted 8–10 times over the course of its lifetime.12 Thus, caution is recommended in relying on colour evidence that is based on visual examination only, as diverging reports and reconstructions are not unusual. Modern physico-chemical analysis can bring clarity, but also has its difficulties: reliability depends on a comparative spectrum of applied methods, but their application is often limited by difficult outdoor conditions; besides, scientific measurements are not free of interpretative leeway. Overall, retrieving the complete colour scheme of an ancient building, with all the subtleties of its surface treatments, is practically impossible for both fragmentary evidence and the complexity of ancient designs. Therefore, all available colour reconstructions depend to varying degrees on extrapolation and/or on analogies. The chronological narrative presented here draws upon a mix of scientific and visual data (the latter still represent the bulk of the evidence), and it assesses visual reconstructions according to their reliability.

Greek Architectural Polychromy

Geometric and Archaic Periods (c. 900–480 bce)

After the collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations, the earliest evidence comes indirectly from the architectural terracotta models of the Geometric period (c. 900–700 bce), which were painted with ornaments in opposing hues of light and dark colours, just like contemporary pottery.13 It is not clear, whether the decoration of the models reflects that of actual buildings. As early as the 9th century bce, however, the pebble mosaic floors of Phrygian Gordion featured polychrome geometric designs in dark blue, dark red, and white, foreshadowing a fundamental colour combination of Greek architectural polychromy (figure 2).14 The earliest known Greek buildings with polychrome surface rendering date to the 7th century bce, when many surfacing techniques that had been in use already during the Bronze Age (such as polychrome plastered walls, metals, and coloured stones) begin to reappear.15 This re-naissance of architectural polychromy is connected with the gradual transition from wood, mud, and plaster structures with steep thatched roofs to monumental stone buildings with flatter, terracotta tiled roofs; often, these architectural terracottas are the only surviving evidence.16

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 2. Gordion, Megaron 2, mid-9th century bce, detail of pebble mosaic floor.

Courtesy of Penn Museum Gordion Archive, image # 2015_04663.

The earliest Greek terracotta roofs from the first half and the middle of the 7th century bce carried a simple, homogeneous pale-yellow slip; but almost simultaneously appeared roofs with alternating black and pale-yellow tiles.17 During the last decades of the 7th century bce, designs, decorations, and colour variations became more complex.18 Among the numerous regional variations, the Northwest Greek roofs were the most conspicuous in the amount of applied colouring and decoration; they also introduced sculptural elements such as waterspouts, antefixes, and frontal eave tiles, as well as plaques decorated with relief figures or painted images.19 As everywhere else, the colour palette remained uniformly limited: an earthen chromatic gamut combining white/cream, black/grey, and various hues of red, from light to brownish to purple. This basic trichromy of architectural terracotta was found equally in Greece, Ionia, Sicily, Southern Italy, Etruria, and Latium.20 It was visually effective mainly due to the principles of colour juxtaposition and sequential alternation.

Fragments of painted plaster have occasionally been found in association with temple walls, but their attribution to exterior or interior surfaces is often problematic; exceptions are the temples at Isthmia (mid-7th century bce) and Abai/Kalapodi (around 700 bce) with exterior walls featuring polychrome geometric patterns and figural scenes.21 Contemporary temples on Samos and Crete also had exterior walls with incised figural friezes.22 Phrygian rock-cut façades, most famously the “Midas monument” (second quarter of 6th century bce), were densely covered with geometric patterns carved in shallow relief that exploited light and shadow effects.23 As early as the 7th century bce, bronze was also used for the sheeting or decoration of walls, doors, windows, altars, columns, capitals, entablatures, and roofs; in fact, findings suggest that the “brazen houses” of Greek texts were a built reality (figure 3).24 Occasionally, stones were deployed for their natural colours, usually with darker types at the bottom and lighter further up.25 On interior walls, roughened marble surfaces hint at the former presence of wall plaster.26 Pebble floors first appeared in sacred contexts at Sparta and Delphi during the 7th and 6th centuries bce, when they were still unpatterned.27 Alternatively, floors were made of simple coloured mortar or stone slabs.28 Paintings on wooden panels, such as the famous Pitsa pinakes, must have decorated interior walls.29

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 3. Olympia, bronze sheeting in the form of volutes, 7th century bce.

Photo by H. Wagner, D-DAI-ATH-Olympia-0907.

The petrification (transition from mud brick/wood to stone) and the canonization of the Greek Doric temple during the 6th century bce was accompanied by the adoption of a colour scheme resembling that of earlier architectural terracottas. It is known in the scholarly literature as the Archaic colour triad of Greek art and architecture and was a combination of red (or purple), dark (black or blue), and light (white or reserved light/white), applied in solid, dense hues with clear contours and according to the principle of polar alternation and colour repetition. Green was used for painted ornamental patterns, but never as a principal colour.30 Despite later innovations and variations, this basic concept was found on architecture throughout Greco-Roman Antiquity.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 4. Aegina, Late Archaic Temple of Aphaia, c. 500 bce, digital reconstruction of the color scheme based on color evidence. Hansgeorg Bankel, “Farbmodelle des spätarchaischen Aphaia-Tempels von Ägina,” in Bunte Götter. Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur. Eine Ausstellung der Staatlichen Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München, ed. Vinzenz Brinkmann and Raimund Wünsche (Munich: Hirmer, 2004); fig. 126 (visualization V. Hinz and S. Franz 2003).

Characteristic for the polychromy of Doric temples was a white or light architectural body with polychrome decoration predominantly on the upper parts (figure 4).31 Colour was used for highlighting specific structural and/or decorative elements as well as for sculpture; patterned ornaments were usually not carved but painted. As a rule of thumb, red was applied to horizontal parts of the entablature (crowning bands, taeniae) and blue/black to the vertical elements (regulae, triglyphs; mutules). Doric metopes applied backgrounds in reserved/white or, more rarely, dull red so as to contrast with the adjacent blue/dark triglyphs. Antae capitals received particularly lavish colour rendering, with the most precious pigments, and this remained a constant of Greek temple architecture.32 The surfaces of pediments could be white (painted or natural stone) or dark/blue.33 Architectural sculptures adhered to the same basic colour scheme as the associated architecture, occasionally enriched with green and yellow, but refraining from an independent naturalistic rendering (see polychromy, sculptural, Greek and Roman).34 Colour differentiation with respect to changing light conditions can be found already on both the earlier and the later temple of Aphaia at Aegina, where, towards the interior, the same colour tones were applied in lighter hues (cf. figure 4).35 Several early Ionic temples also preserve sporadic traces of colour coating, including the earliest known instance of gilding on monumental Greek architecture.36 But the comprehensive scheme of an Ionic order can be reconstructed only for the Treasury of the Siphnians at Delphi (530–525 bce). It was not fundamentally different from Doric polychromy, despite the more complex Ionic ornamentation.37

Classical period (c. 480–320 bce)

Epigraphic sources from the Classical period attest to polychrome rendering as an integral part of monumental construction—famous artists are now known to have invested their skills in the chromatic embellishment of both civic and private architecture.38 Building accounts of temples attest a division of labor (painting, gilding, other surfacing) and also specialization in the painting of specific parts, apparently depending on their three-dimensional/sculptural complexity; for the serial painting of ornaments, a particularly versed artist would have developed a model or exemplary scheme (paradeigma), which was then applied by others.39 Perhaps not coincidentally, the Classical attention to surface rendering correlated with the development of architectural refinements such as curvature, entasis, and proportional subtleties (see architecture, Greek).

Colour traces were found equally on Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders, but comprehensive colour schemes remain unknown. Even for buildings with an exceptionally long research history such as the Parthenon new scientific analysis can still reveal ground-breaking results.40 Overall, however, scattered observations and rare scientific analysis strongly suggest that white (painted or natural stone color) continued to function as a base colour in combination with red and blue, and, more often, also green (figure 5); the application of gold leaf, also to bronze features, must have been rather common for strategic highlighting, even if it is so far known only through building accounts.41 Generally, chromatic and material variegation increased, a concept known as poikilia in Greek art criticism: solid red (instead of blue) could now be applied to both regulae and triglyphs of Doric orders as well as to backgrounds of metopes and pediments. The same patterned ornament was coloured quite differently from building to building, and perhaps, variations could even occur on the same building.42

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 5. Josef Durm’s hypothetical reconstruction of Classical Doric (left) and Ionic (right) color schemes. Durm, Josef Wilhelm. Die Baukunst der Griechen. Leipzig: Alfred Kröner Verlag, 1909, Plates IV and V.

Not surprising, the earliest known capital of the Corinthian order, in the cella of the Temple of Apollo at Bassae (430–420 bce), was painted.43 Metals seem to have been particularly important for Corinthian capitals, but also appeared elsewhere. A plain, stucco-covered stone body of a capital from Corinth has been suggested to be the kalathos core of a bronze capital and has been connected with Vitruvius’ account (4.1.9) of the metal origins of the Corinthian capital.44 Attachment points on capitals and friezes also indicate the former presence of (gilded) bronze adornments, which accounted for reflective highlighting on façade. Architraves were embellished with bronze shields; gilded bronze acroteria shone on roofs; and metal grills were installed in intercolumniations.45 Glass now appeared as a spectacularly new and still rare material on the Ionic capitals of the Erechtheion (figure 6).46 At Olympia, Phidias’ workshop also brought to light glass matrices for two anthemion friezes.47

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 6. Athens, Erechtheion (406 bce), guilloche molding of an exterior columnar capital with inlays of polychrome glass beads.

Drawing by T. L. Donaldson 1836.© The Trustees of the British Museum, 1857, 1212.10.

Generally, it seems that ornaments followed similar chromatic trends, which were independent from the medium (architectural terracotta, various constructions in stone, or vase painting).48 Around 500 bce, contemporaneously with the shift from black-figure to red-figure vase painting, roof simas and antefixes (in both terracotta and stone) shifted from dark and red against light backgrounds to a bichrome arrangement of light (recessed surface) on dark (black for terracotta and blue for stone) with some added red elements (figure 7).The scheme, which survived throughout later periods, marked a novel interdependence of fore- and background colours and effectively, also, a reduction of overall colouration on exteriors.49 This basic bichromy of light on dark remained, in different forms, an integral part of architectural surface rendering.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 7. Delphi, terracotta simas (not to scale); left: roof 41, c. 540/30 bce, in dark on light scheme; right: Lesche of the Cnidians, c. 475/60 bce, in light on dark scheme (Le Roy, Fouilles de Delphes, pl. 1 cropped).

Photo courtesy of École française d’Athènes, EFA/ Émile Sérafis, X21 and X22.

On exterior façades, dark-coloured stone types were strategically deployed in contrast with light marbles or limestones—in the case of the Athenian Propylaia, the use of light and dark stones seems to have influenced proportional perception.50 In addition to polychrome accentuations, various other strategies of surface texturing contributed to the manipulations of light and shadow on façades. A new trend, which continued into the Hellenistic period, was isodomic ashlar masonry with airtight joints and perfectly smooth surfaces.51 A parallel counter-phenomenon can be seen in the intentional (or sometimes accidental?) unfinishing of ashlar walls, which featured lifting bossae and drafted margins, both elements that are usually removed during final finishing.52

According to literary evidence, the walls of public buildings became ever more important as carriers of highly artistic images, especially when protected by a roof: framed panel paintings (pinakes), or lavish megalographic paintings decorated cella walls, or the back walls of stoai (figure 8).53 Smaller pinakes were even inserted into columns; and temple doors, always a place of special artistic articulation, were cladded with (gilded/painted) ivory reliefs or bronze.54 Actual colour traces on the exterior of cella walls are limited, however, to the Hephaisteion at Athens (crowning frieze over pronaos and opisthodomos with figures in hues of red and green against a blue background) and the Parthenon (different profiled moldings). The colour reconstructions of the Parthenon’s Ionic frieze are based solely on analogies with the Hephaisteion, not on any preserved pigment.55

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 8. Delphi, Temple of Apollo, 4th century bce; Albert Tournaire’s hypothetical reconstruction (1894) of the pteron with megalographic wall paintings. Marie-Françoise Billot, “Recherches aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles sur la polychromie de l’architecture grecque,” in Paris–Rome–Athènes. Le voyage en Grèce des architectes français aux XIXe et XXe siècles, ed. Marie-Christine Hellmann, Philippe Fraisse, and Marie-Louise Cazalas (Paris: École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, 1982), 122, fig. 84.

The Late Classical period saw a number of innovations, which were fundamental for later architectural polychromy. Towards the end of the 5th century bce, particularly lavish exterior walls began to acquire the following triple composition: (a) orthostate zone on a base molding, topped by a decorative string course; (b) main zone with isodomic and drafted-margin ashlar masonry; and (c) cornice crown molding, sometimes with a frieze.56 Interior walls soon followed similar schemes, but three-dimensional stucco and painted plaster were used to imitate various luxurious stones; the phenomenon is known as the Greek Structural (or Masonry) style.57 Sanctuaries now saw the tiling of floors with decorative stones in precisely cut geometric forms, a forerunner of the Roman opus sectile pavements.58 Also new, at least to Greece, were pebble mosaic floors, which show a development from basic, mostly bi-chrome ornaments and the random use of coloured stones to more complex figural compositions, still bichrome, but with colour accentuations and early attempts at shading in yellow to reddish-orange.59 Overall, the approach to colouring is reminiscent of the white-on-black scheme known from architectural terracottas (cf. figure 7). Coffered ceilings, an invention of the 5th century bce, provided a protected and thus ideal place for complex chromatic articulations: typical motifs for the soffits were gilded or painted stars and floral motifs on a blue background, while polychrome Ionic moldings framed the lids (cf. figure 1).60 An archaeologically rare example of painting on wood comes from the interior of a 5th century bce Phrygian tomb chamber at Tatarli in Central Anatolia; its figural friezes, which were painted directly on the wooden log construction, are kept in the traditional colour triad of dark (black, grey), white, and red (light and dark).61

Hellenistic Period (c. 320–31 bce)

For the Hellenistic period, the Macedonian tombs of Mieza (modern Lefkadia-Naoussa) and Aigai (modern Vergina) provide uniquely complete insights into the polychromy of entire columnar façades (figure 9). In conjunction with occasional colour findings on temples and mausolea, as well as textual sources, this evidence establishes a few trends in the surfacing of columnar orders and entablatures: First, continuity of the traditional combination of red, light/white, and dark/blue on both Doric and Ionic orders was retained (cf. figure 9); at the same time, however, Ionic ornaments that were exposed to sunlight were carved increasingly deeper and show less or no colouring on their raised parts, but red or blue coloured grounds—sometimes, this leads to an effective reduction of exterior colouring.62 Second, ornaments in (semi) shaded locations now often showed smooth moldings with ornamental patterns fully painted in illusionistic techniques (foreshortening, shading) and with complex colour mixtures (figure 10).63 Third, colour was reduced also on architectural sculpture and certainly on its illusionistic representation—the figural metopes of the Great Tomb at Lefkadia were fully painted in a faux grisaille technique.64 Fourth, goldish-yellow hues were increased, probably also as an allegory to gilded metal.65 Fifth and last, luxurious, precious and shiny materials, such as bronze, gold, ivory, coloured marbles, and precious stones were deployed in much larger quantities.66

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 9. Lefkadia, Tomb of the Palmettes (3rd century bce); reconstruction drawing of color scheme. Katerina Rhomiopoulou, Barbara Schmidt-Dounas, Hariclia Brecoulaki, Das Palmettengrab in Lefkadia, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung, Beih. 21 (Mainz, Germany: P. von Zabern, 2010) colour pl. 8; drawing K. Iliakis.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 10. Limyra, Ptolemaion (2nd Quarter of the 3rd century bce), faux-painted patterning on smooth molding on the soffit of an architrave.

Courtesy Günther Stanzl.

Corinthian capitals became a common sight. The colouring of their highly sculptural and vegetal forms was, however, not always guided by realism; some scholarly reconstructions with green acanthus leafs are conjectural (figure 11).67 Corinthian capitals from Egypt and the Southern Levant show remarkably similar colour schemes, as they had either (dark) red or purple kalathoi as background for acanthus leafs, volutes, cauliculi, and helices in yellow or white with gilding.68 Perhaps, this was meant to be reminiscent of metal capitals. It also has been noted that such colour schemes corresponded to Ptolemy IV’s floating palace, with its Corinthian capitals in ivory and gold supporting a gilded entablature (Athenaios V, 205c) and also to capitals represented in Roman wall paintings of the so-called Second Style.69

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 11. Belevi, Mausoleum (4th or 3rd century bce), color reconstruction of a Corinthian capital from the exterior order; the green coloring of the acanthus leafs is speculative. OeAI-OeAW, after Camillo Praschniker, Max Theuer, Wilhelm Alzinger, Das Mausoleum von Belevi (Vienna, Austria: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 1979), Fig. 49a.

Over the course of the 4th century bce, ashlar masonry surfaces became extremely varied and increasingly decorative: smooth orthostate zones contrasted with drafted-margin ashlar masonry; retaining or terracing walls featured bossed ashlar masonry; double-rows of high stretchers alternated with low binder courses; columns were left with lifting bossae and quarry coats; even fortification walls could follow aesthetic premises similar to those of the façades of religious or secular buildings. More often than before, different stone types were used to achieve subtle colour effects on exterior façades and the associated sculpture, also in concert with painted accentuations.70

In Ptolemaic Alexandria, we see the absorption of the Pharaonic tradition of building in colored stones. Entire architectural elements were carved from colourful Egyptian granites, diorites, and basalts, thus creating a material and chromatic connection to Pharaonic architecture.71 Also on interior walls, incrustations in coloured marbles must have become more common, although archaeological evidence remains rare.72 Better attested is their (free) imitation in the form of plastered faux marble panels on the walls of the Greek Structural (or Masonry Style). This wall scheme was common from the Black Sea to Egypt and the Levant, and from Greece to Sicily.73 Using painted stuccowork, some of these interior walls featured illusionary multi-storey columnar architectures, which created impressive variations of colour and stark effects of light and shadow (figure 12).74

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 12. Pella, so-called House of the Colored Plaster, late 3rd century bce, wall decoration featuring a two-storey façade in painted stucco, reassembled in the Archaeological Museum at Pella.

Photo by Carol Raddato, 2012, rectified by author. Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 2.0).

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 13. Ostrusha tumulus at Shipka, Bulgaria, main funerary chamber, c. 335–325 bce, female portrait in a lacunarium of the coffered ceiling.

Photo by Ivo E. Stankov, 2006. Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 2.5).

Mosaic floors now began to adopt the full repertoire of artistic painting techniques such as shading and three-dimensional effects to evoke naturalism and plasticity, initially still with pebbles, but from the 3rd century bce, also with regularly sized tesserae (opus tessellatum); the House of Ganymede at Morgantina, Sicily (second half of the 3rd century bce) has the earliest known examples.75 During the 2nd century bce, various stone and glass tesserae, laid in miniscule size (opus vermiculatum), allowed an endless range of hues, optical fusion, and the impression of brushstrokes, thus opening up the way for masterly colouristic effects, plasticity, trompe-l’oeil realism, and naturalism. Due to this technique, even complex panel paintings (emblēmata) could now be transferred into permanent and durable mosaic surfaces.76 Often, the tesserae were set into coloured mortar, and sometimes, the mosaic surfaces were finished with painted colour accentuations.77 Coffered ceilings increased in magnificence and were decorated with lavish ornamentation or figural images or portraits, either fully painted or carved and painted with costly pigments (figure 13). In conjunction with the newly introduced soffit panels, they contributed to increasing the polychromy of ceilings.78

Etrusco-Roman Architectural Polychromy

Iron Age, Orientalizing, and Archaic Periods (c. 900–480 bce)

Direct evidence for the painting of Italic Iron Age buildings (9th to 7th century bce) is missing, but a “house” model from Sala Consilina (Southwestern Italy) shows geometric designs that may refer to painted exteriors.79 Later, from the 7th century bce onwards, our understanding of Etrusco-Latial architectural polychromy depends largely on architectural terracottas and on tombs (over 280 are known), although it remains unclear to what extent the latter reflected real domestic or public spaces.80

During the Orientalizing period (650–550 bce), a colour palette comparable to the so-called Greek Archaic triad (cf. supra) was dominant in Etrusco-Italic tombs and on architectural terracottas; it used white/cream, black, and red (varying from purple-red to reddish-brown).81 Designs of terracotta roofs and revetments show the usual parallels to contemporary local pottery but also strong links to Greek architecture at Corinth, Corfu, and Sicily.82 During the Archaic period (575–480 bce), pigments began to be mixed to create differences in colour hues; the palette now also included light and dark brown, gold (a mix of yellow ochre and gray) and, after 530 bce, also green and blue (or gray-blue on terracotta). Gilding was also known.83 It is assumed that these innovations were a result of immigrating Greek-Ionian artisans.84

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 14. Reconstruction of pediments cladded with architectural terracotta; above: Velletri, 530 bce, with brown background; below: Tuscania, Ara del Tufo, 560–550 bce, with white background. Drawing by Renate Sponer Za for Winter, Symbols of Wealth and Power (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009), Color Ill. Roof 5–7 and Roof 4–6. Drawings compiled and cropped by author.

Courtesy of Classical Art Research Centre.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 15. Rome, Area Sacra of S. Omobono, now Antiquarium Comunale (inv. no. 16154); upper part of a fluted column with a Doric capital, c. 540–530 bce.

Photo courtesy of Roger B. Ulrich, modified.

As a result of their wooden construction, which required protective cladding with polychrome terracotta, early Etruscan temples featured abundant coloured decoration. The applied colour schemes for decorative friezes varied locally and chronologically.85 The earliest friezes, of c. 640–620 bce, show a white-on-red technique (Acquarossa); then, between c. 590 and 570 bce, backgrounds were red-brown (Rome), purple-red (Poggio Civitate, Murlo), and red to red-brown (Veii Piazza d’Armi); white backgrounds dominated from 570 to 510 bce, although around 530 bce, Veii, Rome, and Velletri reintroduced reddish-brown backgrounds (figure 14). Columns in the so-called Tuscan order (either in wood and revetted with terracotta or in stone and plaster-painted) could have unfluted shafts painted in red and white, or, as in the case of the most distinct example from S. Omobono in Rome, white shafts with Ionic flutes and a necking decoration with Doricizing patterning in alternating red, white, and blue/black (figure 15).86 The first phase of the temple of S. Omobono (c. 590 bce) has the only closed pediment known in early Etruscan architecture, and it was kept in red.87 Both interior and exterior sides of walls in woodwork/mud brick or stone were finished with plaster that was painted in white, red, blue, black, and yellow; decorative schemes remain unknown, however, except for the exterior use of red wall socles.88

Early and Mid-Republican periods (c. 5th to Early 2nd Century bce)

While Etruscan tombs and temples from the 5th century bce show little innovation, during the second half of the 4th century bce seems to begin a creative fusion of Greco-Hellenistic and Italic construction, design, and colour schemes.89 The evidence is selective, however, and we miss the overarching development. A recently discovered temple entablature from South Italian Cumae (Temple A, mid-4th century bce) combines a wooden architrave with polychrome terracotta revetments and a stone-carved Doric frieze featuring blue/black triglyphs and white metopes with figural paintings in a restrained scheme of brown-red hues (Fig. 16).90 As to tombs, towards the late 4th century bce, they were decorated with colourfully painted relief stucco, which absorbed the latest Late Classical/Hellenistic wall schemes, such as painted (trompe-l’oeil) architectural patterns and faux ashlar masonry reminiscent of the Greek Masonry (or Structural) Style.91 Findings from the 3rd century bce show the application of the system in public and domestic spaces as well.92

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 16. Cumae, Temple A, mid-4th century bce, entablature with terracotta revetment and Doric stone frieze. Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei, Baia.

Photo courtesy of C. Raso, 2013, modified.

The rock cut Tomba Ildebranda (3rd century bce) at Sovana in Northwestern Italy represents a uniquely well-preserved and well-studied example of a polychrome columnar façade of the mid-Republican period. Contrasting surfaces of white and red dominated its colour scheme, while vegetal and figural friezes and ornaments featured naturalistic dark green (and/or blue?), hues of yellow, and some red. The colours, which were applied in a planar fashion, were clearly meant to single out the tomb’s architectural elements from a distance (Fig. 17).93 The façade of the nearby Tomba dei Demoni Alati (late 3rd century bce) had red metopes and blue triglyphs in the Greek Doric tradition, which is later still known to Vitruvius (4.4.2).94

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 17. Sovana, Tomba Ildebranda, first half of 3rd century bce; reconstruction model with color scheme, Archaeological Museum of Savona (M. Hofmann,, modified by author).

The vast group of architectural terracotta and antepagmenta of the Republican period still lacks a comprehensive study of polychrome schemes. Exemplary cases for their colour palette may be the pieces from a small temple at Alatri (end of 3rd or 2nd century bce); the façade revetments displayed ornaments in the traditional combination of red, black, and white, while those in the shaded interior of the porch were kept in lighter colours, namely white, blue, red, and some yellow (note the 1:1 reconstruction in the Museum of the Villa Giulia in Rome)—such light-dependent colour differentiation between façade and porch recalls the approach followed already at the Late Archaic Temple of Apollo at Aegina (cf. figure 4).95 The ensemble of architectural terracottas from a 2nd century bce temple at Pagliaroli di Cortino (Central Italy) revealed a range of different polychrome schemes, which apparently come from the same building; it also included a high-relief frieze in Hellenistic tradition with polychrome animals and plants against a black background.96

Late Republican and Augustan Periods (c. 2nd Century bce to early 1st Century ce)

New materials, techniques, and decorative patterns led to a veritable revolution of architectural aesthetics during the Late Republican and Augustan periods. Particularly important was the gradual appearance of white and coloured marbles, which can be traced in a combination of monuments and texts; generally, imported white marble was available from the 2nd century bce, coloured marbles from the latest 2nd and 1st century bce, and the local white marble from the quarries above Luna (modern Carrara) from the 50s bce.97 Variegation (varietas) of materials, colours, and designs became a common marker of Roman architecture; notably, white monochromy also had its part in this. The conspicuous display of materials and colours was regarded as a universal sign of wealth, and in some contexts, material iconography could also convey a political or triumphal agenda.98 New surfacing materials now appeared next to terracotta-revetted and/or stucco-coated tufa/travertine structures, which, however, also continued to be built and restored. For example, terracotta plaques and friezes with mythological scenes (known as Campana plaques) were still attached to porticos and compluvia or inserted into walls; they show that chromatic options on architectural reliefs ranged from monochrome white to the brightest polychrome in mixed colour hues (figure 18).99

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 18. Colour schemes of terracotta plaques from Pompeii; left: monochrome white from the portico of the House of the Faun, phase of late 2nd century bce; right: polychrome from the structure preceding the House of the Granduca Michele, c. mid-2nd century bce (left: courtesy Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli; right: Pesando, “Domus pompeiana,” color pl. 5, 2).

In Rome, theaters, porticos of sanctuaries, temple interiors, and private houses soon acquired coloured marbles for columns as well as smaller architectural elements.100 Temple exteriors, however, in contrast to their interiors, continued to deploy white marble or stucco surfaces. Rarely have those white façades preserved traces of colour and thus the full extent of their original colouring remains unknown; however, observations suggest strategic colour highlights and accentuations rather than a full polychrome treatment.101 Scientific analysis, if applied, has been limited in methods and therefore also in validity; thus, visual reconstructions remain highly conjectural suggestions. For the Palatine temple of Apollo (28 bce), single-method analysis suggested the colouring of the column capitals with leaf gold and green while goldish-yellow colour hues were applied to the entablature next to red, green, and blue.102 A recent analysis of a Tiberan period marble temple in Cordoba (Spain) argued for a façade embellished with gold and purple, but this rests on very few data and is far from being conclusive.103 A few microscopic traces of colour have also been found on the Ara Pacis in Rome; its full colour reconstruction, however, relied mostly on analogies with wall paintings and the assumption of naturalistic colour rendering.104 Much easier to establish is the colour scheme of a Classical-style Augustan temple in Philae (Upper Egypt), as the polychromy of its Classical style façade was based on the natural colours of locally available red Aswan granite and black diorite; the Egyptian leaf capitals of the surrounding portico were stucco-painted and kept in solid green, red, blue, and white.105

Metals such as bronze and gold were important for the appearance of public buildings, especially temples.106 Throughout its existence, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus in Rome set a local precedent for many of the various architectural uses of metal, which included: bronze-sheeted thresholds and doors; (gilded) bronze acroteria – an exemplary fragment survives from the later Augustan temple of Mars Ultor (figure 19); gilded coffered ceilings, which, during the 1st century bce, also found their way into private homes; gilded bronze and silver shields or clipei attached to façades; and even roof tiles in gilded bronze .107 Inscriptions in gilded bronze, litterae aureae, became a global hallmark of Roman monuments from the Augustan period forward and an integral part of the repertoire of Imperial honors.108 Gilded bronze was also used for the most luxurious Corinthian capitals of temples.109 The symbolic meaning of white marble and gold/gilded bronze as absorbents of divine essence, as signs of social status and, on a more general level, as cultural markers, is well established through texts.110

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 19. Rome, Temple of Mars Ultor (c. 2 bce), gilded bronze acroterion from the pediment, probably a winged Nike, now Museo dei Fori Imperiali.

Courtesy of Jeff Bondono.

Numerous studies have shown that religious, public, and private buildings drew from a repertoire of decorative schemes that was shared across artistic genres.111 Exterior walls of monumental buildings regularly featured a structural setup (in stucco or marble revetment) that corresponded to the First Pompeian Style of interior wall paintings; this Western version of the Greek Structural (or Masonry) style became widely used in Italy during the 2nd and 1st century bce.112 During the 60s bce, interiors of private houses in Rome began to apply wall incrustations in marble, crustae marmoris (Pl. H.N. 36.7.48); soon, they became the most luxurious interior surface decoration, often in combination with pilasters, friezes, and aediculae also carved from coloured marbles.113 The unique Aula del Colosso in the Forum of Augustus (dedicated in 2 bce) brought together painting on and painting with stone: its walls were revetted with coloured and white marbles; and painted on the revetments was the large-scale illusionistic painting of a curtain, as backdrop for a draped, colossal marble statue—an intricate play with materiality and sensory expectations (figure 20).114

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 20. Rome, so-called Aula del Colosso in the Forum of Augustus (c. 2 bce): reconstruction of interior.

Courtesy of Lucrezia Ungaro, Museo dei Fori Imperiali, Rome.

On floors, highly artistic picture-mosaics in the Hellenistic opus vermiculatum technique (cf. supra), most famous the Alexander Mosaic in the House of the Faun at Pompeii (late 2nd century bce) remained rare elite products.115 More common were mortar-and aggregate pavements such as reddish opus signinum with aggregates of crushed terracotta, sometimes with white/black patterns of inlaid stones, or different forms of crustae pavements set with small irregular fragments of multi-coloured stones. Simple travertine stone slabs were also an option. Opus sectile floors with precisely cut tiles in coloured stone appeared as early as the second half of the 2nd century bce; first they were composed of local green, grey, and white limestone and slate, arranged to form rhomboids, squares or perspectival cube patterns, but with the influx of foreign marbles during the Augustan and Julio-Claudian period, endless variations of colour, veining, and formats were possible.116 Almost as a counter-trend to this explosion of colour, Italic mosaic floors also began to feature predominantly geometric but highly flexible patterns in black and white, even as a strong polychrome mosaic tradition continued in the East.117

A Roman-Italic invention and a craft on its own was the application of mosaics on walls and ceilings, known since the late 2nd and early 1st century bce in the context of grottoes and ornamental foundations (nymphaea) and gardens. While their ornamental repertoire was closely related to wall paintings, they used pigment-coloured mortar and specific materials (pumice, volcanic rocks, marine incrustations, shells, marble chips, beads of Egyptian blue, glass tesserae, or rods) to create highly textured surfaces that interacted with light reflections of nearby water basins and gardens (figure 21).118

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 21. Pompeii, House of the Grand Duke of Tuscany; 34–50 ce, nymphaeum: detail of surface with seashells, glass tesserae, marble chips, Egyptian blue tesserae, and twisted glass canes. Cristina Boschetti, “Vitreous Materials in Republican and Early Imperial Mosaics (2nd century bce–1st century ce) from Italy: Faience, Egyptian Blue, and Glass.” Journal of Glass Studies 53 (2011), 59–91, fig. 28.

Along with the spread of both illusionistic wall paintings during the 1st century bce, the use of stuccowork became more and more limited to the decoration of vaulted ceilings and lunettes.119 The earliest examples of stuccoed vaults still resembled flat horizontal coffered ceilings in wood and marble.120 The illusionistically painted imitation of such a scheme in the so-called House of Augustus on the Palatine hill in Rome (vault of ramp and its antechamber) shows that colour schemes could vary, even in the same space, from polychrome to monochrome sepia.121 Decorative patterns of stucco vaults soon became more freely arranged to highlight specific ceiling parts and to accommodate figural scenes.122 Here too, colour schemes could be kept monochrome white, enlivened often only through subtle shadow effects of their raised parts; or they were coloured in the traditional combination of contrasting red, blue, and white (and later purple as well), with figural motives usually left reserved/white and set against a blue or red background. On stucco vaults, more complex colour schemes usually appeared only in combination with fully painted figures or ornaments.123

Imperial and Late Antique Periods (1st to 6th Century ce)

From the mid-1st century ce, the availability of large monolithic column shafts in light grey, red/rose, and red/purple Egyptian granites added to the chromatic appearance of exterior façades. Their polychromy was often achieved through a combination of differently coloured architectural members; usually, the naturally coloured shafts contrasted with bases, capitals, architraves, and cornices in white marble, while (gilded) bronze features (inscriptions, ornamental attachments, acroteria, ceilings, and doors) continued to add to the overall colour effect (figure 22).124 Purple porphyry deserves special mention, as it became a marker of political, social, and religious authority, especially during Late Antiquity.125

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 22. Rome, portal of the temple of Deified Romulus (early 4th century ce), combining purple porphyry, white marble, and bronze.

Photo by Zanner, 2007.

Ornamental carving styles began to differentiate effects of light and shadow. The phenomenon reached its first highpoint during the Flavian period, when deeply undercut lines were used to create stark dark and light contrasts (figure 23); during the 3rd century ce, shadow became an independent artistic medium for the rendering of ornaments.126 It has been argued that such carving styles made additional colour accentuations with paint obsolete on carved marble architecture;127 but our evidence is scarce and limited to the friezes of Imperial monuments.128 In fact, the issue of colour accentuations has never been systematically investigated for other parts of Imperial architecture. A newly discovered cult building from around 300 ce, with a 50-m-long relief from Nicomedia (Turkey), yet to be fully published, carries a spectacular amount of original colouring on both the frieze and its associated architectural elements; it promises to shed entirely new light on the interplay of Imperial carving styles, coloured marbles, and architectural/sculptural polychromy.129

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 23. Rome, Forum Romanum, entablature of the Temple of Vespasian, dedicated 87 ce, now in the Tabularium.

Photo by Cassius Ahenobarbus, 2013. Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Columnar orders in white stucco continued to be accentuated in red, blue, purple, green, and yellow hues, even if the ornamental repertoire became more varied and less canonical.130 Perhaps following an Etrusco-Italic tradition (cf. supra), many column shafts in the porticoes of the Vesuvian cities had their (usually unfluted) lower thirds or even the entire shaft painted in red or yellow, often in correspondence with adjacent wall orthostates.131 Like Late Republican nymphaea and wall mosaics (cf. figure 21), columns and pediments in garden contexts were sometimes encrusted with colourful mosaic ornaments, shells, glass, and ceramic tesserae, clearly to enhance light and colour effects.132

Exterior masonry work resorted to various and sometimes novel methods of surfacing and colouring.133 Stucco-finished walls featured coloured orthostates and (faux) ashlar masonry, and their joint patterns could be highlighted in red or, more often, blue, sometimes with additional shadow fillets. An extremely lavish case must have been the ashlar masonry joints of the temple of Hadrian at Cyzicus, which were decorated with golden fillets, certainly to create a light-reflective effect (Pl. H.N. 36.21.98). But even relatively simple reticulate masonry now included decorative patterns made from differently coloured stones or cut bricks, and decorative fields of polychrome reticulation were inserted into brick walls. Painted checkerboard or trompe-l’oeil cube patterns in red, white, yellow, green, and blue appeared on Pompeian house façades.

During the 2nd century ce, the full repertoire of façades with columns, pilasters, and pediments was translated into brickwork, introducing a new aesthetic to Roman architecture. The exposed brickwork surfaces could be homogenized with a wash in deep red, yellow-rose, or light yellow colour, while architectural elements and moldings were sometimes highlighted in painted stucco or rendered separately in terracotta (figure 24).134 In Northern Italy and in the Western provinces, the combination of alternating brick and masonry courses (opus mixtum, opus vittatum) became common; during the 3rd and 4th century ce, it was used for fortification walls and monumental buildings.135 The early 4th century ce Basilica of Constantin/Aula Palatina at Trier, today an exposed brickwork facade, was once fully plastered and painted in a warm white tone with intense red accentuating outlines and depths of architectural forms, while the window jambs carried floral and figural motifs in golden ochre against purple grounds (figure 25).136

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 24. Rome, brickwork façade of the Tomb of Annia Regilla (160 ce).

Photo by Notafly 2010. Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 3.0).

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 25. Trier, Basilica of Constantine or Aula Palatina (early 4th century ce); partial colour reconstruction based on extant plaster remains. Nicole Riedl and Friederike Funke, “Die römische Außenmalerei und ihre Restaurierungsgeschichte,” in Weltkulturerbe Konstantinsbasilika Trier. Wandmalerei in freier Bewitterung als konservatorische Herausforderung, ed. Nicole Riedl, ICOMOS–Hefte des Deutschen Nationalkomitees, Vol. 55, 2013, Riedl, Weltkulturerbe, 43, Fig. 46 (K.-P. Goethert and H&S Virtuelle Welten GmbH 2004, with additions of Riedl, 2010).

Interiors saw some significant changes, when, from the first half of the 1st century ce on, the use of window glass (opaque and of bluish or grey-green colour) increasingly filled them with diffuse stray light. This must have encouraged the animation of architectural surfaces with colourful and light-reactive materials and forms.137 Representations on wall paintings suggest that particularly luxurious interior columns featured gilt column bases and capitals as well as attachments in silver or gold with inlaid gemstones; archaeological evidence for such schemes is rare, but it exists (figure 26).138 The polychromy of interior surfacing was only limited by the available ressources; on opus sectile floors at Pompeii, up to eight types of stones appeared in one room and up to forty in an entire building; glass was occasionally added to enhance light effects.139 Interestingly, Claudian/Neronian stone floors show a return to more reduced colour combinations, as they favored a scheme known as “quadricromia neroniana”, which combined green serpentinite, purple porphyry, yellow Numidian marble, and white-red/dark veined pavonazetto (figure 27).140 New ways of interior surface decoration included: decorative friezes in gold leaf on wall revetments in coloured stones (Pl. H.N. 33.57); opus interrasile (Pl. H.N. 35.2-3), the inlay of revetments (often in black slate) with decorative ornaments or friezes of coloured stones or glass; or capitals and pilasters that were assembled from separately carved pieces of coloured marbles to create polychrome effects.141 In other cases, glass completely replaced stone and was used for frieze bands or even entire revetments.142

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 26. Gilded bronze applications with precious stones from the Horti Lamiani in Rome. Musei Capitolini, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala degli Horti Lamiani: Archivio Fotografico dei Musei Capitolini. © Roma, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 27. Rome, Palatine, opus sectile floor in “quadricromia Neroniana,” probably from the Aula of Nero’s Domus Aurea.

Photo courtesy of Dörte Blume, 2011.

Ceilings decorated with stuccowork continued to feature colour schemes that were monochrome white or applied the traditional combination of white, (dark) red/purple, blue, and green, occasionally also yellow and gilding, along with monochrome figural scenes or painted landscapes.143 Over the course of the 4th century ce, however, relief stucco and stone incrustations were increasingly replaced with faux painted revetments, which aimed for strong colour effects and appeared even on curved vaulted ceilings.144 Generally, it appears that colour schemes of stucco ceilings cannot be taken as indicators of stylistic or chronological changes; these are visible instead in the modifications of field patterns and their shapes, the quantity of decorative elements, and the exploitation of effects of light and shadow (relief).145

While the full aesthetic effects of Roman Imperial interiors usually escape us, two examples are exceptional: Triclinium 18 (so-called marble room) in the House of the Relief of Telephus at Herculaneum (1st century ce) shows the combination of a polychrome opus sectile floor and wall revetments deploying no less than 23 different stone types with a painted wooden ceiling; its coffers were decorated with relatively simple geometric patterns and kept in solid white, green, and red, as well as many gilded ornaments set against a blue background (figure 28).146 Among the public buildings, the Pantheon in Rome (c. 120 ce) gives us the most complete impression for the interior use of coloured stones, despite some modern alterations (figure 29). Eight different marbles were used: grey granite, purple porphyry, green basalto verde, all from Egypt; yellow giallo antico from North Africa; white-red/dark veined pavonazetto from Phrygia; blue-green verde antico from Thessaly; grey-green bigio africano from Asia Minor; and, of course, white marble from Carrara—these far-travelled materials were also a visual metaphor for Rome’s territorial expansion.147 The coffers of the Pantheon’s dome, today stripped naked, may once have been painted and/or decorated with golden stars and moldings in bronze or stucco.148

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 28. Herculaneum, House of the Relief of Telephus (1st century bce to 1st century bce), Triclinium 18, reconstruction of interior. Domenico Camardo and Mario Notomista, “The roof and suspended ceiling of the marble room in the House of the Telephus Relief at Herculaneum,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 28 (2015), Fig. 42.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 29. Rome, Pantheon (c. 120 ce); view of interior.

Photo by Stephan Zink, 2015.

Throughout the Roman Imperial period and into Late Antiquity, an intentional blurring of the boundaries between natural and artistic forms was characteristic for architectural surface treatment. Its manifestations were manifold and went beyond the earlier painted imitations of stones or textiles (cf. figure 20): in painted stone imitations, marble veinings could be morphed into veritable artistic drawings; or stone inlays were deployed to create ever more super-natural veining.149 Perhaps, rusticated ashlar walls were meant to be reminiscent of natural rock formations.150 At Ostia, polychrome stone compositions imitated extravagant panel paintings, and, not without irony, costly coloured marbles were deployed to imitate cheap herringbone brick paving (opus spicatum) or even reticulate walls that were usually only seen in tufa and exteriors.151 Scholars are only beginning to explore the multiple levels of meaning, which stand behind this sophisticated play of Roman architecture with materiality, polychromy and visual expectations.

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman
Click to view larger

Figure 30. Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul), 537 ce, view of interior, partly with original surfaces glass-gold mosaics.

Photo by Stephan Zink, 2017.

Finally, in Late Antique, Early Christian/Byzantine contexts, the diversity of materials and colours (poikilia/varietas) remained a guiding principle for interiors; but there emerged an unprecedented emphasis on light, brilliance, glittering, reflectance, and polychromacity (while windows became larger and larger), and this aesthetic had a strong theological meaning. The earlier tradition of jeweled, gilded, intarsiated, and mosaic-encrusted columns and capitals, for example, became a visual metaphor for heaven on earth.152 Late Antique and Byzantine texts show that colour was now perceived predominantly in terms of its light-bearing qualities rather than actual hues.153 Justinian’s church of Hagia Sophia in Contantinople (dedicated in 537 ce) is unique both for its preservation and for its contemporary poetic commentators. Together, they give us an idea about how its interior wall and ceiling mosaics in glass-gold foil (along with silver, red, blue, and green) and the marble incrustations created a “luminous membrane” (N. Schibille) and a shimmering effect that was seen as metaphysical manifestation of divinity (figure 30).154

Discussion of the Literature

The foundational period for the study of architectural polychromy was the 19th century, especially the 1830s; in the course of what later came to be known as the polychromy debate, the original colouring of ancient buildings, in particular those built from white marble, was fiercely discussed.155 Most of the debate’s protagonists were architects, for whom the study of Classical architecture provided the point of departure for their own architectural designs. Therefore, at stake in 19th-century research on ancient architectural polychromy was not only the ancient reality, but also the aesthetics of contemporary architecture—and this spurred an ideological exchange of scholarly views and an enormous written output, sometimes with artistic more than scientific aspirations.156 Despite this background, the large volume of 19th-century publications with their documentations and observations on architectural surfacing remain of crucial importance; often, they also reflect a state of preservation that is now lost.

After James Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s drawings of painted features at the Athenian Hephaisteion (1794), Carl Haller von Hallerstein can be identified as the first to carry out a systematic documentation of architectural polychromy at the temple of Aphaia on Aegina (1811).157 During the 1830s, scientific methods of chemical analysis began to be applied to ancient architectural surface colouring.158 The invention of colour lithography further contributed to the dissemination and reception of ancient architectural polychromy as a topic of scholarly research. The seminal work was Wilhelm Zahn’s 1828 colour publication of Pompeian wall paintings.159 In 1830, when Jacques Ignace Hittorff published the first monograph on architectural polychromy, the question was nomore whether the exteriors of ancient Greek buildings were coloured, but rather to what extent. Hittorff’s own colour reconstruction of the Temple of Empedocles at Selinunte in Sicily (now known as Temple B), published in 1851, reflected the author’s ideal of full exterior colouring. Although this was a project based mostly on imagination (for which his peers already criticized him), Hittorff was the first to comprehensiveley deal with the polychromy of an entire building.160

The crux of the polychromy debate was, however, Athens and her Classical period marble monuments, including the Hephaisteion, the Acropolis’ Propylaia, and the Parthenon. The main opponents, who faced each other in writings and visualizations were the art historian Franz Kugler and the architect Gottfried W. Semper. While Kugler argued for a partial and relatively reduced colouring of the Parthenon, Semper, foreshadowing his famous theory of clothing (Bekleidungstheorie), was in favor of a full colouring of all exterior surfaces.161 Further explorations on the Parthenon and other Attic monuments soon suggested, however, that Kugler’s interpretation was closer to the evidence (cf. figure 5).162

The study of the Roman monuments and their polychromy had a more difficult beginning, and this is significant for understanding the state of research today. Although Gottfried Semper’s on-site investigation of Trajan’s column in Rome and his brother Wilhelm’s chemical analysis of surface samples in 1833 represented the first scientific analysis of the colour coating of an ancient marble monument, their results were refuted even before publication by the counter-study of the French architect Prosper-Mathieu Morey.163 In line with the neoclassical doctrine of the École des Beaux Arts, Morey denied any colour coating of Roman marble monuments and believed that their exteriors were kept white and accentuated only with gilded bronze elements.164 After this episode, the investigation of colour traces never gained the same momentum at Rome as at Athens. Rather than “lithochromy” (painting on stone), it was the exploitation of natural coloured materials (white marble, gilded bronze, and coloured stones) that was regarded as characteristic of Roman columnar façades of the Augustan and Imperial periods. Extensive colour coating, which was increasingly observed on architectural terracottas and in tombs, was usually seen as an exclusive feature of earlier Etruscan architecture. With the advent of modernism during the early 20th century, the study of ancient architectural polychromy lost its importance as an inspiration for contemporary designs, resulting in a significant decrease of works on the topic, even if some belated contributions in the spirit of historicism still appeared.165

Analytical field research on the polychromy of Classical marble architecture saw a new beginning in the 1980s with the German research on the temple of Aphaia at Aegina, a building that had been a focus of polychromy research since the early 19th century. Today, Hansgeorg Bankel’s digital reconstruction of the later Temple of Aphaia (cf. figure 4) represents the most reliable colour reconstruction of a Greek temple, together with a new reconstruction of Hittorff’s famous Temple B at Selinunte.166 Regarding Roman architecture, Semper’s dossier of Trajan’s column was re-opened in the 1990s and led to a rather complicated and still ongoing debate on the nature of biogenic and naturally coloured patinas (scialbatura).167 Overall, the literature that has appeared over the last decade has significantly advanced our knowledge of the techniques and colour schemes of Etrusco-Italic stucco-painted (columnar) façades and interiors; also constantly increasing (and too many to be listed here) are analytical studies on coloured marbles, mosaics, architectural terracotta, and Roman wall paintings.

Contrary to most 19th-century approaches, recent works (including this contribution) have extended the definition of architectural polychromy to the entirety of exterior and interior surface decoration.168 Current research trends also include visual effects and the sensual perception of surface designs, the contextual interplay of various surface and color effects, symbolisms, and intermediality, the art of imitating materials in different media.169 Occasionally, the contemporaneity, at least since the Hellenistic period, of mono-, bi-, and polychrome schemes is now also singled out.170 In conjunction with a growing amount of evidence attesting the influence of space and light on complex architectural colouring and texturing, this marks a significant paradigm shift, away from competing scholarly ideas of either austere white or abundantly coloured architecture towards a more differentiated picture of chronological and spatial co-existence of different and even contrasting colour schemes. However, a fundamental problem remains the lack of reliable data sets, especially for exterior colour schemes; much of our knowledge of architectural polychromy still relies on naked eye observations, which requires cautious evaluation. Both multi-method optical documentation and physico-chemical analysis have now become common methods in colour research, but the range of applied methods and their standards still vary considerably; in the end, scientific measurements depend on their correct interpretation. Excavator’s attention to freshly unearthed architectural surfaces as well as the analysis of musealized artifacts, especially if exempt from historical conservation measures, will be of critical importance for the future advancement of knowledge on ancient architectural polychromy.

Tess; Sistema per la catalogazione informatizzata dei pavimenti antichi.Find this resource:

Corsi collection of Decorative Stones. Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Base Décors antique; database of ancient decoration (access requires subscription). AOROC Archeology and Philology of East and West, École Normale Supérieure.

Digital reconstructions of the later Temple of Aphaia at Aegina; Büro für Bauforschung und Visualisierung.

Ancient Bronzes in the Antikensammlung Berlin; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Conference proceedings of ASMOSIA; Association for the Study of Marble & Other Stones in Antiquity.

Conference proceedings of AIPMA; International Association for Ancient Wall Painting.

Marmor macht Architektur; online exhibition of the ETH Zurich Library on the use of marble in architecture.


Bankel, Hansgeorg. “Farbmodelle des spätarchaischen Aphaia-Tempels von Ägina.” In Bunte Götter: Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur: Eine Ausstellung der Staatlichen Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München. Edited by Vinzenz Brinkmann and Raimund Wünsche, 70–83. Munich: Hirmer, 2004.Find this resource:

Barbieri, Gabriella. “Il colore nelle architetture funerarie di Sovana: La tomba dei Demoni Alati e altri monumenti policromi.” The Journal of Fasti Online 343 (2015): 1–16.Find this resource:

Blanc, Nicole. “Au-delà des styles: Les entablements peints et stuqués.” In Functional and Spatial Analysis of Wall Painting: Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress on Ancient Wall Painting, Amsterdam, 812 September 1992. Edited by Eric M. Moormann, 51–58. Leiden, The Netherlands: Stichting Babesch, 1993.Find this resource:

Brecoulaki, Hariclia. “Greek Interior Decoration: Materials and Technology in the Art of Cosmesis and Display.” In A Companion to Science, Technology, and Medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome. Edited by Georgia L. Irby, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, 672–692. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley & Sons, 2016.Find this resource:

de Nuccio, Marilda, and Lucrezia Ungaro. I marmi colorati della Roma imperial. Venice: Marsilio, 2002.Find this resource:

Dubois-Pelerin, Éva. Le luxe privé à Rome et en Italie au Ier siècle après J.-C. Naples: Centre Jean Berard, 2008.Find this resource:

Dunbabin, Katherine M. Mosaics of the Greek and Roman World. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Hellmann, Marie-Christine. L’Architecture Grecque: 1, Les Principes de la Construction, 229–256. Paris: Picard, 2002.Find this resource:

Hoepfner, Wolfram. “Farbe in der griechischen Architektur.” In Color in Ancient Greece: The Role of Color in Ancient Greek Art and Architecture (700–731 B.C.). Proceedings of the Conference held in Thessaloniki, April 12–16, 2000. Edited by Michalēs A. Tiverios and Despoina S. Tsiaphakē, 37–46. Thessaloniki, Greece: Aristoteleio Panepistēmio Thessalonikēs, 2002.Find this resource:

James, Liz. Light and Colour in Byzantine Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.Find this resource:

Koenigs, Wolf. “Die Erscheinung des Bauwerks: Aspekte klassischer und hellenistischer Oberflächen.” In Euergetes: Festschrift für Dr. Haluk Abbasoğlu. Edited by İnci Delemen, 711–726. Antalya, Turkey: Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations, 2008.Find this resource:

Lepinski, Sarah. “Roman Interior Design.” In A Companion to Science, Technology, and Medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome. Edited by Georgia L. Irby. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, 730–746. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley & Sons, 2016.Find this resource:

Mandel, Ursula. “On the Qualities of the ‘Color’ White in Antiquity.” In Circumlitio: The Polychromy of Antique and Mediaeval Sculpture; Conference Proceedings, 1012 December 2008, Liebieghaus-Skulpturensammlung Frankfurt am Main. Edited by Vinzenz Brinkmann, Oliver Primavesi, Max Hollein, 303–323. Munich: Hirmer, 2010.Find this resource:

Mattern, Torsten. “‘Vielheit und Einheit’: Zu Erscheinungsbild und Wirkung römischer Tempelarchitektur.” Bonner Jahrbücher 199 (1999): 1–30.Find this resource:

Neils, Jenifer. “Color and Carving: Architectural Decoration in Mainland Greece.” In A Companion to Greek Architecture. Edited by Margaret M. Miles, 164–177. Chichester, UK: Wiley & Sons, 2016.Find this resource:

Summitt, James Bruce. “Greek Architectural Polychromy from the Seventh to Second Centuries BC: History and Significance.” PhD diss. University of Michigan, 2000.Find this resource:

von Normann Alexander. Architekturtoreutik in der Antike. Munich: Tuduv, 1996.Find this resource:

Winter, Nancy A. Symbols of Wealth and Power: Architectural Terracotta Decoration in Etruria and Central Italy, 640510 B.C. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Zink, Stephan. “Roman Architectural Polychromy: Colors, Materials, and Techniques.” In Transformations: Classical Sculpture in Colour. Edited by Jan Stubbe Østergaard and Anne Marie Nielsen, 236–255. Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 2014.Find this resource:


(2.) Colour hues of bronze: Plin. H.N. 33.8.57 and 34.40.140–141.

(3.) Hariclia Brecoulaki, “A propos des peintres tétrachromatistes et de la distinction entre colores austeri et colores floridi: l’économie des moyens picturaux contre l’emploi des matériaux onéreux”, in Couleurs et Matières dans L’Antiquité: Textes, Techniques et Pratiques, ed. Agnès Rouveret, Sandrine Dubel and Valérie Naas (Paris: Éd. Rue d’Ulm, 2006), 29–42; and Hariclia Brecoulaki, “Precious Colours” in Ancient Greek Polychromy and Painting: Material Aspects and Symbolic Values,” Revue Archéologique 1 (2014), 3–35.

(4.) Athens, Erechtheion: IG3, 476, l. 270–272; column in the Cynosarges: IG II2, 1665, l.23; Epidauros, Asklepieion: IG IV2 102, l.21–22, 29, 49, 58, 108, 300–301; Plin. H.N. 35.5.124. For the first evidence on encaustic architectural painting now Eleni Aggelakopoulou, Sophia Sotiropoulou and Georgios Karagiannis, “The Architectural Polychromy on the Athenian Acropolis. New data obtained through recent in situ noninvasive analytical investigation of the colour remains on the Parthenon and Propylaea” (paper presented at the 9th International Round Table on Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture, British Museum London, November 9–10, 2018; conference proceedings in preparation).

(5.) Hermann von Rohden, Architektonische römische Tonreliefs der Kaiserzeit, Die antiken Terrakotten vol. 4.1 (Berlin: Spemann, 1911), 26–29; Herbert Koch, Dachterrakotten aus Campanien mit Ausschluss von Pompei (Berlin: Reimer, 1912), 11–14; and Nancy A. Winter, Symbols of Wealth and Power: Architectural Terracotta Decoration in Etruria and Central Italy, 640510 B.C. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009), 519–523.

(6.) On the technique: Roger Ling, “Stuccowork,” in Roman Crafts, ed. Donald Emrys Strong (London: Duckworth 1976), 209–221; and Lepinski, “Interior Design,” 732–734.

(7.) Vitr. 7.3.6 and 7.6.1; Varro Rust. 1.59.3; and Plin. H.N. 36.55.176–177.

(8.) Marie-Christine Hellmann, Recherches sur le vocabulaire de l’architecture grecque, d’après les inscriptions de Délos (Athènes: École Française d’Athènes 1992), 37–42 s.v. aleipho, aloiphē; material evidence for white varnish: Ian Jenkins, Corrado Gratziu, Andrew Middleton, “The Polychromy of the Mausoleum,” in Sculptors and Sculpture of Caria and the Dodecanese, ed. Ian Jenkins and Geoffrey B. Waywell (London: British Museum Press, 1997), 38–39; and Günther Stanzl, “Das Ptolemaion von Limyra,” in L’ Architecture monumentale grecque au IIIe siècle a.C., ed. Jacques des Courtils (Bordeaux: Ausonius Éditions, 2015), 184.

(9.) Plin. H.N. 33.61–64 (metal leaf and gilding on marble) and 35.36 (red bolus pigment); James Bruce Summitt, “Greek Architectural Polychromy from the Seventh to Second Centuries BCE: History and Significance” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2000), 35–36, 233–234; and Brinkmann, Polychromie der Skulptur, 38–39.

(10.) Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 28–36; and Brinkmann, Polychromie der Skulptur, 27–28.

(11.) Recently (with earlier bibliography), Olga Palagia and Scott Pike, “Art Historical and Scientific Perspectives on the Nature of the Orange-Red Patina of the Parthenon,” in Interdisciplinary Studies on Ancient Stone 10. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference of ASMOSIA, ed. Patrizio and Eleonora Gasparini (Rome: Erma di Bretschneider, 2014), 881–888.

(12.) Ernst Curtius, Friedrich Adler, eds., Olympia: Die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung, Die Baudenkmäler von Olympia, Textband 2 (Berlin: Asher 1892), 186–187; and Ernst Curtius, Friedrich Adler, eds., Olympia: Die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung, Die Baudenkmäler von Olympia, Tafelband 2 (Berlin: Asher 1896), pl. 114.

(13.) Thomas G. Schattner, Griechische Hausmodelle: Untersuchungen zur frühgiechischen Architektur (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1990), 139; Wolfram Hoepfner, “Farbe in der griechischen Architektur,” in Color in Ancient Greece: The Role of Color in Ancient Greek Art and Architecture (700–31 B.C.), Proceedings of the Conference held in Thessaloniki, 12th–16th April, 2000, ed. Michalēs A. Tiverios and Despoina S. Tsiaphakē, (Thessaloniki: Aristoteleio Panepistēmio Thessalonikēs, 2002), 38; and Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 230.

(14.) Charles Brian Rose, “Fieldwork at Phrygian Gordion, 2013–2015,” American Journal of Archaeology 121 (2017): 157–160.

(15.) P. Chapin, “Aegean Painting in the Bronze Age,” in The Cambridge History of Painting in the Classical World, ed. J. J. Pollitt, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 1–65; and Alexander von Normann, Architekturtoreutik in der Antike (Munich: Tuduv, 1996), 25–33 passim.

(16.) Overviews: Nancy A. Winter, Greek Architectural Terracottas: From the Prehistoric to the End of the Archaic Period, Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993); Nancy A. Winter, “The Use of Color on Archaic Architectural Terracottas and Figurines,” in Color in Ancient Greece, ed. Michalis A. Tiverios (Thessalonika, Greece: Aristoteleio Panepistemio, 2002), 47–52; and Philip Sapirstein, “Origins and Design of Terracotta Roofs in the Seventh Century BCE,” in A Companion to Greek Architecture, ed. Margaret M. Miles (Chichester, UK: Wiley & Sons, 2016), 46–59.

(17.) For pale yellow terracotta roofs tiles, see Corinth, early Temple of Apollo, perhaps also Isthmia, Temple of Poseidon: Sapirstein, “Origins,” 49; and Hoepfner, “Farbe,” 38–39, 276 (Fig.1). Roofs with black tiles interspersed, see Joachim Heiden, Die Tondächer von Olympia (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1995), 12–18; and Sapirstein, “Origins and Design of Terracotta Roofs,” 47.

(18.) Ernst-Ludwig Schwandner, Der ältere Porostempel der Aphaia auf Aegina (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1985), 72–85; and Winter, Greek Terracottas, 153–155; and Sapirstein, “Origins and Design of Terracotta Roofs,” 52.

(19.) On the roofs from Thermos, Corfu, and Kalydon, see J. A. Papapostolou, “Colour in Archaic Painting,” in Tiverios et al., Color in Ancient Greece, 60, with scientific analysis; Philip Sapirstein, “The Monumental Archaic Roof of the Temple of Hera at Mon Repos, Corfu,” Hesperia 81 (2012): 31–91; and Winter, Greek Architectural Terracottas, 119–121.

(20.) Åke Åkerström, Terrakotten Kleinasien (Lund, Sweden: Gleerup, 1966), 201; and Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 76.

(21.) Oscar Broneer, Isthmia: 1, Temple of Poseidon (Princeton, NJ: The American School of Classical Studies, 1971), 33–34, pl. A-C; and Dieter Niemeier, Das Orakelheiligtum des Apollon von Abai/Kalapodi: eines der bedeutendsten griechischen Heiligtümer nach den Ergebnissen der neuen Ausgrabungen, Trierer Winckelmannsprogramme 25/2013 (Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz, 2016), 17–18, pl. 6.3.

(22.) Eric M. Moormann, Divine Interiors: Mural Paintings in Greek and Roman Sanctuaries (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011), 43–44, with images and further bibliography.

(23.) Susanne Berndt-Ersöz, Phrygian Rock-Cut Shrines: Structure, Function, and Cult Practice (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2006), 35–39, 232–234, Figs. 50, 134.

(24.) Paus. 3.17.3–5, 10.5.9, and 11; Pind. Pae. 8, 41; Philostr. VA 6.11; Normann, Architekturtoreutik, 25-42, with earlier bibliography; Hanna Philipp, Archaische Silhouettenbleche und Schildzeichen in Olympia (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2004), 13–18; and Susan Kane, “Bronze Plaques from the Archaic Favissa at Cyrene,” in Cirenaica: Studi, scavi e scoperte, parte I: Nuovi dati da città e territorio, Atti del X Convegno di Archeologia Cirenaica Chieti 2426 Novembre 2003, BAR International Series 1488, ed. Emanuela Fabbricotti and Oliva Menozzi (Oxford: Hedges, 2006), 205–216.

(25.) Paestum (Italy), Temple of Hera I; for Samos and Heraion, see Hoepfner, “Farbe,” 38; and Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 230.

(26.) Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 69–71, 138.

(28.) Aegina, Later Temple of Aphaia, red mortar floor (early observation); Argos, Temple of Hera, grey-green pavement: Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 384, 438.

(29.) Brecoulaki, “Precious Colours,” 15–19, and “Interior Decoration,” 683–684; and Brecoulaki has a comprehensive study in preparation.

(30.) Elena Walter-Karydi, “Prinzipien der archaischen Farbgebung,” in Studien zur Klassischen Archäologie, Festschrift Friedrich Hiller, ed. Karin Braun (Saarbrücken, Germany: Saarbrücker, 1986), 23–41; Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 209; Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 230, 232; and Wolf Koenigs, “Die Erscheinung des Bauwerks. Aspekte klassischer und hellenistischer Oberflächen,” in Euergetes: Festschrift für Dr. Haluk Abbasoğlu, ed. İnci Delemen (Antalya: Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations, 2008), 714–715.

(31.) For this and the following, comprehensively and with evidence, see Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 80–133, 185–211.

(32.) Schwandner (with analysis of J. Riederer), Der ältere Porostempel, 130, 136–140; Hansgeorg Bankel, Der spätarchaische Tempel der Aphaia auf Aegina (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1993), 111–113; Hansgeorg Bankel,“Farbmodelle des spätarchaischen Aphaia-Tempels von Ägina,” in Bunte Götter. Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur. Eine Ausstellung der Staatlichen Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München, ed. Vinzenz Brinkmann and Raimund Wünsche (Munich: Hirmer, 2004), 80, 83, figs. 127, 128; Hermann J. Kienast, “Ein verkanntes Antenkapitell aus dem Heraion von Samos,” Istanbuler Mitteilungen 39 (1989), 257–263; Klaus Hermann, “Zu den Antenkapitellen des Zeustempels,” Bericht über die Ausgrabungen in Olympia, vol. 10 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1981), 302–317; and Wolf Koenigs, Der Athenatempel von Priene (Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert, 2015), 41–43, pl. 40.

(33.) Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 127, 177–178, with an overview on the evidence and partly contradicting Walter-Karydi, “Prinzipien,” 29–31 (followed by Hellmann, L’Architecture Grecque, 232).

(34.) E.g., Athens, Acropolis, blue-bearded heads of the Hekatompedon West pediment: Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 124–128.

(35.) Bankel, “Farbmodelle des spätarchaischen Aphaia-Tempels,” 80–81.

(36.) Colour traces on buildings from Samos, Naxos, Didyma, Ephesos, and Naucratis (comprehensively with bibliog. raphy; Summitt, Architectural Ppolychromy, 131–1-43); gilding: John Turtle Wood, Modern Discoveries on the Site of Ancient Ephesus (London: Religious Tract Society, 1890), 62; and Ian Jenkins, Greek Architecture and its Sculpture in the British Museum (London: British Museum Press, 2006), 38, Fig. 19.

(37.) Georges Daux, and Erik Hansen, Fouilles de Delphes 2. Topographie et Architecture. Le Trésor de Siphnos (Paris: De Boccard, 1987), 222, 233; Vinzenz Brinkmann, Beobachtungen zum formalen Aufbau und zum Sinngehalt der Friese des Siphnierschatzhauses (Ennepetal: Biering & Brinkmann, 1994), 39–52; and Summitt, Architectural polychromy, 133–136, 139–141.

(38.) Epidauros: IG IV2 102, ll.21,50, 56, 300; Delphi: CID II, 56, A, l. 30; Sanctuary of the Thermopyles: CID III, 1 l.16; for Delos: Hellmann, Recherches, 89–91, s.v. graphō; further Pl. NH 35.5 and 124; private interiors: Aelian and Nigel Guy Wilson, Historical Miscellany (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015), 14.17; Plutarch, Alcibiades 16; summaries: Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 232, 234; and Brecoulaki, “Interior Decoration,” 673–674.

(39.) Erechtheion: IG I3, 476, ll. 270-72; Epidauros: IG IV2 102, ll. 21–22, 49–50, 57–58, 75–77, 80–82, 108–109; and on paradeigmata now Sebastian Prignitz, Bauurkunden und Bauprogramm von Epidauros (400350): Asklepiostempel, Tholos, Kultbild, Brunnenhaus (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2014), 81–82.

(40.) For an overview see Christina Vlassopoulou, “New Investigations into the Polychromy of the Parthenon,” in Circumlitio: The Polychromy of Antique and Mediaeval Sculpture; Conference Proceedings, 1012 December 2008, Liebieghaus-Skulpturensammlung Frankfurt am Main, ed. Vinzenz Brinkmann, Oliver Primavesi, Max Hollein (Munich: Hirmer, 2010), 218–223; add now Eleni Aggelakopoulou, Sophia Sotiropoulou and Georgios Karagiannis, “The Architectural Polychromy on the Athenian Acropolis. New data obtained through recent in situ noninvasive analytical investigation of the colour remains on the Parthenon and Propylaea” (paper presented at the 9th International Round Table on Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture, British Museum London, November 9-10 November 2018; conference proceedings in preparation).

(41.) Athens: IG I3, 476, ll.54–55, 351–353; Epdiauros: IG IV2 102, l.81 and IG IV2 104, l.136; Delos: ID 161, A, l.73; further Marie-Christine Hellmann, Recherches, 336–337, s.v. pétalon; Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 206, 211, 219–220; and for early observations Alessia Zambon, “Les Premiers Voyageurs et la dorure du Parthénon. Mise au point sur une controverse ancienne,” Revue Archéologique 53 (2012), 41–61.

(42.) Adeline Grand-Clément, “Poikilia,” in A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, ed. Pierre Destrée and Penelope Murray (Chichester, U.K. and Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2015), 406–421; Examples from Isthmia, Calydon, Athens and Olympia; see Summitt, Architectural polychromy, 178, 188, and Hoepfner, “Farbe,” 40, Fig. 1.2; Capitals with colour variation, perhaps from the same building: Lucy Shoe Meritt, “Athenian Ionic capitals from the Athenian Agora,” Hesperia 65 (1996): 154, figs 20–21, pls. 40–44; also Vinzenz Brinkmann, ed., Athen - Triumph der Bilder: Eine Ausstellung der Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main, 4. Mai bis 4. September 2016 (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2016), 97–98.

(43.) Charles Robert Cockerell, The Temples of Jupiter Panhellenius at Aegina and of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae near Phigaleia in Arcadia (London: Weale, 1860), 58, Pl. XV; and Frederick A. Cooper: The Temple of Apollo Bassitas 1:The Architecture (Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1996), 316–317.

(44.) David Scahill, “The Origins of the Corinthian Capital,” in Structure, Image, and Ornament. Architectural Sculpture in the Greek World, Proceedings of an International Conference held at the American School of Classical Studies, 27–28 November 2004, ed. Peter Schultz (Oxford: Oxbow, 2009), 40–53.

(45.) Normann, Architekturtoreutik, 52–3, 67–76; Scahill, “Origins of the Corinthian Capital,” 44–45; metal acroteria: Paus. 5.10.4; and Hdt. Hist. 1.50.

(46.) Eva Marianne Stern, “Die Kapitelle der Nordhalle des Erechtheion,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 100 (1985), 402–426, pls. 91–96.

(47.) Alfred Mallwitz and Wolfgang Schiering, Die Werkstatt des Pheidias in Olympia (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1964), 23–34, 145–156, pls. 39–44.

(48.) Marie-Françoise Billot, “Terres cuites architecturales, peintures et mosaïques aux Ve et IVe siècles,” in Proceedings of the International Conference on Greek Architectural Terracottas of the Classical and Hellenistic Periods, Dec. 1215, 1991, ed. Nancy A. Winter (Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1994), 1–38; Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 259; and Winter, Greek Terracottas, 51.

(49.) Comprehensively, Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 199–203.

(50.) Lucy T. Shoe, “Dark Stone in Greek Architecture,” Hesperia Suppl. 8, 1949, 341–352, with further examples; Cooper, Apollo Bassitas, 315; Summitt, “Architectural Polychromy,” 210–211; and Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 716.

(51.) Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 714.

(52.) Comprehensively, Thanassis E. Kalpaxis, Hermiteles. Akzidentelle Unfertigkeit und “Bossenstil” in der griechischen Baukunst (Mainz, Germany: Zabern, 1986); and Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 717.

(53.) Paus. 1.15.10 and 25–31, 1.22.6, 5.21.17, 9.4.1–2; Ath. 6.253b, 13.577c; overviews: Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 254–255; and Moormann, Divine Interiors, 8–16.

(54.) Pinakes in columns—Olympia, Heraion: Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Alt-Olympia 1 (Berlin: Mittler, 1935), 170; and temple doors—Spencer Pope and Peter Schultz, “The Chryselephantine Doors of the Parthenon,” American Journal of Archaeology 118 (2014): 19–31; and for painting on ivory see Hariclia Brecoulaki et al., “A Microcosmos of Colour and Shine: The Polychromy of Chryselephantine Couches from Ancient Macedonia.” Technè 40 (2014): 14–15.

(55.) Herbert Koch, Studien zum Theseustempel in Athen (Berlin: Akademie, 1955), 100; Evelyn B. Harrison, “Theseum East Frieze: Color and Attachments,” Hesperia 57 (1988): 339–349; Jenkins, Greek Architecture and Sculpture, 42–43; and Vlassopoulou, “New investigations,” 220.

(56.) E.g., Athens, Erechtheion and Mausoleum of Halicarnassos; and Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 718.

(57.) Vincent J. Bruno, “Antecedents to the Pompeian First Style,” American Journal of Archaeology 73 (1969): 305–317; Elena Walter-Karydi, The Greek House: The Rise of Noble Houses in Late Classical Times (Athens: Archaeological Society at Athens, 1998), 33; Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 246–247; Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 718; and Brecoulaki, “Interior Decoration,” 679.

(58.) Tholoi at Delphi and Epidauros: Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 260; and Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 717.

(59.) Dunbabin, Mosaics, 5–10; and Brecoulaki, “Interior Decoration,” 675.

(61.) Erwin Emmerling, Kathrin Adelfinger, Julia Reischl, “On the Painting Technique of the Tomb Chamber,” in Tatarli: Renklerin Dönüsu—The Return of Colours—Rückkehr der Farbe, ed. Latife Summerer and Alexander von Kienlin (Istanbul: T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı, 2010), 204–233.

(62.) Overview in Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 301.

(63.) Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 228–229, 245–246, 266–269, 276–280, 288; now also Stanzl, “Ptolemaion von Limyra,” 183–1-84, fig. 13 (here Fig. 11); and moreover, the Kasta-Tomb at Amphipolis (antae capital) and the Tomb of the Prince (Tomb III) at Vergina (interior frieze).

(64.) Vincent J. Bruno, “The Painted Metopes at Lefkadia and the Problem of Color in Doric Sculpted Metopes,” American Journal of Archaeology (1981): 8–11; very sparing use of color also on the large frieze of the Pergamon Altar; for scholarship see Clarissa Blume, Polychromie hellenistischer Skulptur: Ausführung, Instandhaltung und Botschaften (Petersberg, Germany: Imhof, 2015), 246–247; and on architectural monochromy during the Hellenistic period Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 275, 282–293.

(65.) E.g., Curtius and Adler, Olympia Tafelband 2, pls. 113–114; now also Moritz Taschner and Stephan Zink, “Magnesia am Mäander in der Berliner Antikensammlung. Neue Ansätze zur Erforschung antiker Architektur,” Antike Welt 2 (2016): 35–37; Stephan Zink et al., “Hermogenes’ Temple of Artemis and its Polychromy: Current Research in the Antikensammlung Berlin” (paper presented at the VIII. International Roundtable “Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture”, Paris, November 15–16, 2016; and forthcoming in Technè 2019); for further examples, see note 69.

(66.) E.g., Ath. V.196a–197c; 204d–206c (banqueting tent of Ptolemy II and floating palace of Ptolemy IV); Normann, Architekturtoreutik, 122–123, 179; and Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 245.

(67.) Mausoleum of Belevi: Camillo Praschniker, Max Theuer, Wilhelm Alzinger, Das Mausoleum von Belevi (Wien: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 1979), 64, 68 Taf. 49a; Alexandria, Greco-Roman Museum, capital from Hermopolis Magna/el-Ashmunein: Hoepfner, “Farbe,” 42–43, Fig. 6 colour reconstruction with conjectural green leafs; Olympia, capital from Stadion entrance: Curtius and Adler, Olympia, Textband 1 (1892), 69–70 (R. Borrmann); Curtius and Adler, Olympia Tafelband 2, pls. 114; two pieces from Pantikapeion: Michail Ivanovič Rostovtzeff and Alix Barbet, La peinture décorative antique en Russie méridionale: Saint-Pétersbourg 19131914 (Paris: De Boccard, 2004), Pl. 52, 2–4.

(68.) For examples, see Gideon Foerster, Masada V: The Yigael Yadin Excavations 19631965, Final Reports, Art and Architecture (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1995), 112–113, Pl. XVI a,b; and add Hermopolis Magna (as in note 68).

(69.) Foerster, Masada V, 112–113; Judith McKenzie, The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt: c. 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), 103.

(70.) For this and the following, comprehensively (with examples), see Robert Lorentz Scranton, Greek Walls (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1941), 99–136; Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 714–717; noteable examples are Phyllis Williams Lehmann, “The Wall Decoration of the Hieron in Samothrace,” Balkan Studies 5 (1964): 278–279; and Jari Pakkanen, “The Temple of Zeus at Stratos: New Observations on the Building Design,” Arctos 38 (2004): 109, Fig. 7. See also Jenkins, Gratziu, Middleton, “Polychromy,” 39, pl. 21; and Jenkins, Greek Architecture and Sculpture, Figs. 14, 20.

(71.) Ulrich-Walter Gans, “Hellenistische Architekturteile aus Hartgestein in Alexandria,” Archäologischer Anzeiger (1994), 433–453 including textual evidence.

(72.) For the use at Halicarnassos, c. 350 bce, Pl. H.N. 36.47 and Vitr. 2.8.10; the earliest archaeological evidence is, however, from c. 150 bce: Richard Delbrueck, Antike Porphyrwerke (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1932), 34–35; and Tobias Bitterer, “Marmorverkleidung stadtrömischer Architektur. Öffentliche Bauten aus dem 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr. bis 7. Jahrhundert n. Chr,” (PhD diss., University of Munich, 2013), 13–14.

(73.) Brecoulaki, “Interior Decoration,” 680–681; and Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 246–250, with further examples and bibliography.

(74.) Lehmann, “Wall Decoration”; Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 246–251; Koenigs, “Erscheinung,” 718; and Brecoulaki, “Interior Decoration,” 680.

(75.) Dunbabin, Mosaics, 18–38; and Brecoulaki, “Interior Decoration,” 675–679.

(76.) Best examples from Pergamon and Alexandria; see Dunbabin, Mosaics, 24–30.

(77.) Anne-Marie Guimier-Sorbets, “De la peinture à la mosaique: problèmes de couleurs et de techniques à l’époque hellénistique,” in Peinture et couleur dans le monde frec antique; actes de colloque, Musée du Louvre, 10 et 27 Mars 2004, ed. Sophie Descamps-Lequime (Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2007), 205–218.

(78.) Karin Tancke, Figuralkassetten griechischer und römischer Steindecken (Frankfurt: P. Lang, 1989); Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 255–256; Julia Valeva, The Painted Coffers of the Ostrusha Tomb (Sofia, Bulgaria: "Bulgarski houdozhnik, 2005); and Summitt, Architectural Polychromy, 234.

(79.) Helle Damgaard Andersen, “Etruscan Architecture from the Late Orientalizing to the Archaic Period (c. 640–480 B.C.)” (PhD diss. University of Copenhagen, 1998), 41, 93.

(80.) Andersen, “Etruscan Architecture,” 137, 209; and Stephan Steingräber, Etruskische Wandmalerei: von der geometrischen Periode bis zum Hellenismus (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2006), 16 (English translation available).

(81.) Examples in Steingräber, Etruskische Wandmalerei, 6061, 64–65; and Winter, Symbols, 223, 520.

(82.) Winter, Symbols, 142, 459, 462–463.

(83.) Winter, Symbols, 520–521; for scientific analysis, see Francesca Bordignon, Paolo Dore, Paolo Postorino, “In Search of Etruscan Colours: A Spectroscopic Study of a Painted Terracotta Slab from Ceri,” Archaeometry, 49 (2007): 87–100; Francesca Bordignon, Paolo Postorino, Paolo Dore, and G. Trosji, “Raman Identification of Green and Blue Pigments in Etruscan Polychromes on Architectural Terracotta,” Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 38 (2007): 255–259; Francesca Bordignon et al., “The White Colour in Etruscan Polychrome Terracotta: Spectroscopic Identification of Kaolin,” Journal of Cultural Heritage 9 (2008): 23–29; and observation of gilding: Koch, Dachterrakotten, 13, 39 (P. 348, Archaic figural antefix from Capua).

(84.) Steingräber, Wandmalerei, 64–65; and Winter, Symbols, 520.

(85.) For the following see Winter, Symbols, 522.

(86.) Mauro Cristofani. La grande Roma dei Tarquini: Roma, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, 12 giugno30 settembre 1990 (Rome: Erma di Bretschneider, 1990), 128–129; traces of painting also on examples from Gravisca, Marzabotto, Orvieto and Rome (Andersen, “Etruscan architecture,” 82 for details and bibliography).

(87.) Cristofani, La grande Roma, 121–124 (Francesco Paolo Arata); and Winter, Greek Terracottas, 149–150, 189–192.

(88.) Evidence from Murlo, Roselle, Ficana, Pyrgi, Tarquinia, and Rome (see Andersen, “Etruscan Architecture”, 93–99).

(89.) For tombs, see Steingräber, Wandmalerei, 129–132.

(90.) Carlo Rescigno, “Metope dipinte con centauromachia da un tempio Cumano di epoca Sannitica. Osservazioni preliminari,” in Atti del X Congresso Internazionale dell’AIPMA (Association internationale pour la peinture murale Antique), Napoli, 1721 Settembre 2007, ed. Irene Bragantini (Napoli: Università degli studi di Napoli, 2010), 15–28 (with earlier bibliography).

(91.) E.g., Cerveteri (Tomba dei Rilievi), Vulci (Tomba Francois): Mauro Cristofani, "Ricerche sulle pitture della Tomba François di Vulci. I fregi decorativi." Dialoghi di Archeologia (1967), 186–219; and Steingräber, Wandmalerei, 195, 204–205.

(92.) Findings from Cosa and Morgantina; Bruno, “Antecedents,” 305; and Anne Laidlaw, The First Style in Pompeii: Painting and Architecture (Rome: G. Bretschneider, 1985), 34.

(93.) Gabriella Barbieri, Gianna Giachi, Pasquino Pallecchi, Polychrome Rock Architectures: Problems of Colour Preservation in the Etruscan Necropolis of Sovana (Rome: F. Serra, 2013); and Gabriella Barbieri, “Il colore nelle architetture funerarie di Sovana. La tomba dei Demoni Alati e altri monumenti policromi,” The Journal of Fasti Online (2015): 1–16.

(94.) Barbieri, “Colore Sovana,” with colour reconstructions figs. 4 and 12.

(95.) Hermann Winnefeld, “Antichità di Alatri,” Römische Mitteilungen 4 (1889): 143–146; Adolfo Cozza, “Di un antico tempio scoperto presso Alatri,” Römische Mitteilungen 6 (1891): 349–359; and for the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina, see note 35.

(96.) Maria Josè Strazzulla, “Le terrecotte architettoniche nei territori italici,” in Deliciae Fictiles III: Architectural Terracottas in Ancient Italy: New Discoveries and Interpretations; Proceedings of the International Conference held at the American Academy in Rome, November 78, 2002, ed. by Ingrid Edlund-Berry (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2006), 35–38.

(97.) J. Clayton Fant, “Augustus and the City of Marble,” in Archéomatériaux: marbres et autres roches, ASMOSIA IV, actes de la IVème Conférence Internationale de l’Association pour l’étude des marbres et autres roches utilisés dans le passé, Bordeaux-Talence, 913 Octobre 1995, ed. Max Schvoerer (Bordeaux: CRPAA, 1999), 277–280; and for the use of giallo antico forthcoming Stefan Ardeleanu, “Giallo Antico in Context. New Stratigraphic Data from the Western Mediterranean (2nd century bce–1st century ce), in ASMOSIA XI International conference, Association for the Study of Marbles & Other Stones in Antiquity, Split, 1822 May 2015, ed. Katja Marasović, TBD.

(98.) Fabio Barry, “Painting in Stone: The Symbolism of Colored Marbles in the Visual Arts and Literature from Antiquity until the Enlightenment” (PhD diss., University of Columbia, 2011), 64–71, 92; and Éva Dubois-Pelerin, Le luxe privé à Rome et en Italie au Ier siècle après J.-C. (Naples: Centre Jean Berard, 2008), 131.

(99.) See various examples in Giuseppe Pellino, Rilievi architettonici fittili d’età imperiale dalla Campania (Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2006), most notably 52–53 Tav. XII and XIII; and Fabrizio Pesando, “La domus pompeiana in età sannitica: Nuove acquisizioni dalla Regio VI,” in Etruskisch-italische und römisch-republikanische Häuser, eds. Martin Bentz and Christoph Reusser (Wiesbaden: L. Reichert, 2010), 243–253; recently, also Zink, “Polychromy,” 238.

(100.) For private use Pl. H.N. 36.2.6–8; and for a general overview Patrizio Pensabene, I marmi nella Roma Antica (Rome: Carocci, 2013), 30–56.

(101.) Observation of colour traces in Rome on the temples of Portunus and Mars Ultor, as well as the Tabularium; further, Palmyra, Temple of Bel; overviews with bibliog. Mattern, “Erscheinungsformen”, 24–26; Zink, “Polychromy”, 245–246.

(102.) Stephan Zink and Heinrich Piening, “Haec Aurea Templa: The Palatine Temple of Apollo and its Polychromy,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 22 (2009): 109–122.

(103.) Ana Portillo Gómez, “La policromía del templo de la calle Morería en el forum novum de Colonia Patricia,” Archivo español de Arqueología 88 (2015): 171–185; Ana Portillo Gómez, “La importancia del color en la arquitectura pública Romana: Testimonios del empleo de marmora y pintura en algunos templos de la Bética,” Cuadernos de Arqueología Universidad de Navarra 24 (2016).

(104.) Orietta Rossini, "I Colori dell’Ara Pacis: Storia di un Esperimento," Archeomatica 3 (September 2010): 20–25 (with reconstructions); Giulia Caneva, Il codice botanico di Augusto: Ara Pacis: parlare al popolo attraverso le immagini della natura (Roma: Gangemi, 2010), 131–140; and Simona Foresti, “La policromia dell’Ara Pacis e i colori del Campo Marzio settentrionale,” in Colore e Colorimetria: Contribuiti Multidisciplinari vol. VII A, Atti della settima conferenza nazionale del colore. Gruppo del Colore, Sapienza Università di Roma, Facoltà di Ingegneria, Roma, 1516 settembre 2011, ed. Maurizio Rossi (Santarcangelo di Romagna, RN: Maggioli S.p.A., 2011), 333–340.

(105.) Hoepfner, “Farbe,” 44; and McKenzie, Alexandria, 166, fig. 286.

(106.) Overviews Normann, Architekturtoreutik, 178–180; and Mattern “Erscheinungsformen”, 10–14.

(107.) Bronze doors, Rome, Capitoline Temple of Jupiter (3rd century bce): Livy, 10.23.12 and Pl. H.N. 34.7.13 on the general practice; further, Val. Max. 5.6.3; Varro, Ling. 5.163; Festus, Gloss. Lat. 275; Joseph. BJ 5.5.3–4. Bronze acroteria, Rome, Capitoline Temple of Jupiter (early 3rd century bce): Livy 10.23.12; acroterion of Temple of Mars Ultor: Lucrezia Ungaro (ed.), The Museum of the Imperial Forums in Trajan’s Market (Rome: Electa, 2007), 130, 136, figs. 167–168. Bronze and silver shields or clipei, Rome, Capitoline Temple of Jupiter (early 2nd century bce): Pl. H.N. 35.4.14, Livy 35.10.12; and Basilica Aemilia (179 bce): Pl. H.N. 35.3.13. Coffered ceilings in private homes, Rome, Capitoline Temple of Jupiter (142 bce): Pl. H.N. 33.18.57, Paus. 5.10.5; possibly, a stucco-coffered and gilded ceiling in the Temple of Apollo Medicus (a.k.a. Sosianus): Normann, Architekturtoreutik, 183, with bibliography. Bronze roof tiles, Rome, Capitoline Temple of Jupiter (after 83 bce), gilded bronze roof: Pl. H.N. 33.18.57 and 36.4.45, Cic. Verr. 4.69, Sen. Controv. 1.64; Temple of Vesta in Forum: Pl. H.N. 34.6.13, Ov. Fast. 6.261, Verg. Aen. 8.347.

(108.) Overviews Charles Brian Rose, “The Temple of Athena at Ilion,” Studia Troica 13, 2003, 65–66; Richard Posamentir and Holger Wienholz, “Gebäude mit litterae aureae in den kleinasiatischen Provinzen, die Basilika von Berytus und der Jupitertempel von Baalbek,” Istanbuler Mitteilungen 62 (2012): 161–198; and Walter Trillmich, “Aureae Litterae,” Madrider Mitteilungen 54 (2013): 326–347.

(109.) Rome, Porticus Octavia (167/66 bce): Pl. H.N. 34.3.13; Pantheon of Agrippa (27 bce): Pl. H.N. 34.7.1; and probably Palmyra, Temple of Bel (earlier 1st century ce): Henri Seyrig, Robert Amy, Ernest Will, Le Temple de Bel à Palmyre (Paris: Geuthner, 1975), 94–95, 212, fig. 42.

(110.) Pierre Gros, Aurea Templa: Recherches sur l’architecture religieuse de Rome à l’époque d’Auguste (Rome: École Française, 1976), 40–1; and Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 25.

(111.) Now comprehensively, Moormann, Divine Interiors.

(112.) Laidlaw, First Style, 15; Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque, 246.

(113.) Dubois-Pelerin, Luxe Privé, 149–152; Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 61–62; and Pensabene, Marmi, 23–46.

(114.) Lucrezia Ungaro, “Il rivestimento dipinto dell’ ‘Aula del Colosso’ nel Foro di Augusto,” in I colori del bianco: Policromia nella scultura antica,Musei Vaticani. Collana di Studi e Documentatzione, eds. Paolo Liverani, Hansgeorg Bankel, Anna Gramiccia (Rome: De Luca, 2004), 275–280; scientific analysis: Ulderico Santamaria, Fabio Moresi, Maurizio Delle Rose, “Indagini scientifiche dei pigmenti e leganti delle lastre marmoree dipinte dell’Aula del Colosso del Foro di Augusto,” in I colori del bianco, 281–289; Ungaro, Museum, 144–151, with visual reconstructions (Fig. 188).

(115.) For this and the following (with examples), compare Dunbabin, Mosaics, 55–58, 73, 101, 254–268.

(116.) Federico Guidobaldi, “Sectilia pavimenta e incrustationes: i rivestimenti polichromi pavimentali e parietali in marmo o materiali litici e litoidi dell’antichità romana,” in Eternità e nobilità di materia. Itinerario artistico fra le pietre policrome, ed. Annamaria Giusti (Florence: Polistampa, 2003), 15–76.

(117.) Hundreds of examples from Ostia and elsewhere; corpus of mosaics from Antiochia ranging from early 2nd to 5th century ce: Dunbabin, Mosaics, 56–58, 103.

(118.) Generally, Sear, 1977; Dunbabin, Mosaics, 236–245; scientific analysis: Cristina Boschetti, “Vitreous Materials in Early Mosaics in Italy: Faience, Egyptian Blue, and Glas,” Journal of Glass Studies 53 (2011): 59–91; Cristina Boschetti, Cristina Leonelli, Anna Corradi, “The Earliest Wall mosaics and the Origin of Roman Glass in Italy: Archaeological Considerations for an Archaeometric Study,” in Annales du 18e Congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre, Thessaloniki 2009, eds. Despina Ignatiadou, Anastassios Antonaras (Thessaloniki: ZITI Publishing, 2012), 139–144.

(119.) Mielsch, Stuckreliefs, 14–15, 105–106.

(120.) Mielsch, Stuckreliefs, 109–110; and Roger Ling, “Stucco Decoration in Pre-Augustan Italy,” Papers of the British School at Rome 40 (1972): 11–58.

(121.) Also Ursula Mandel, “On the Qualities of the ‘Color’ White in Antiquity,” in Circumlitio, 303–323.

(122.) For evidence, see Mielsch, Stuckreliefs, passim; Roger Ling, Stuccowork and Painting in Roman Italy (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1999); and Nicole Blanc, Le stuc dans l’art Romain. Origine et développement d’une technique décorative (Ier siècle avant au IIème siècle après Jésus-Christ (Phd diss., Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2007).

(123.) E.g., Rome, Palatine: so-called House of Augustus, cubiculo superiore and Aula Isiaca: Roger Ling, “Stucco,” European Association of Archaeologists 5 (1997): 459–460; and Irene Iacopi, La Casa di Augusto: Le Pitture (Milan, Italy: Electa, 2008).

(124.) Ancient bronze doors in Rome Normann, Architekturtoreutik, 224; and Mattern,“Erscheinungsformen”, 15–21.

(125.) Bradley, Colour and Meaning, 202–211; Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 67–68; Dario Del Bufalo, Porphyr. Red Imperial Porphyry. Power and Religion (Torino, Italy: University of Allemandi Press, 2012); and Mark Bradley, “Colour as Synaesthetic Experience in Antiquity,” in Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses, eds. Shane Butler and Alex Purves (Durham: Acumen, 2013), 135–138.

(126.) Silvia Nolte, “Schatteneffekte im Ornament der Kaiserzeit und der Einfluss des Lichtes auf die Ornamentik,” in Licht und Architektur, ed. Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer and Wolfram Hoepfner (Tübingen: E. Wasmuth Verlag, 1990), 72–78.

(127.) Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, Korinthische Normalkapitelle: Studien zur Geschichte der römischen Architekturdekoration (Heidelberg, Germany: F. H. Kerle, 1970), 137.

(128.) Günther Schörner, Römische Rankenfriese: Untersuchungen zur Baudekoration der späten Republik und der frühen und mittleren Kaiserzeit im Westen des Imperium Romanum (Mainz: P. von Zabern, 1995), 131; Ralf Grüßinger, “Dekorative Architekturfriese in Rom und Latium. Ikonologische Studien zur römischen Baudekoration der späten Republik und der Kaiserzeit” (PhD diss., Ruprecht-Karl-Universität Heidelberg, 2001), 41; colour analysis: Rome, Trajan’s column: Marco del Monte, Patrick Ausset, Roger A. Lefèvre, “Traces of Ancient Colours on Trajan’s Column,” Archaeometry 40, no. 2 (1998): 403–412; and Rome, Arch of Titus Reliefs: and Steven Fine, “Heinrich Piening’s Preliminary Report of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project,” Images 6 (2013): 26–29.

(129.) Tuna Şare Ağtürk and Mark Abbe, “Painted Marble Reliefs from Tetrarchic Nicomedia: A Preliminary Report” (paper presented at the VIII. International Roundtable “Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture”, Paris, November 15–16, 2016; forthcoming in Technè 2019); and on the polychromy of a relief panel, Tuna Şare Ağtürk, “A New Tetrarchic Relief from Nicomedia: Embracing Emperors,” American Journal of Archaeology 122, no. 3 (2018): 411–426.

(131.) Hermann Phleps, Farbige Architektur bei den Römern und im Mittelalter (Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1930), 20; and Mattern, “Erscheinungsformen”, 26.

(132.) For examples, see Frank B. Sear, Roman Wall and Vault Mosaics (Heidelberg: F. H. Kerle, 1977), 82–83; V. Tam Tinh Tran, La casa dei cervi a Herculanum (Rome: G. Bretschneider, 1988), 78–83; and Dunbabin, Mosaics, 243–244.

(133.) See Phleps, Farbige Architektur, 20–35; and Thomas Blagg, “The Use Of Terra-Cotta for Architectural Ornament in Italy and the Western provinces,” in Roman Brick and Tile: Studies in Manufacture, Distribution, and Use in the Western Empire, ed. Alan McWhirr (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 1979), 276–281.

(134.) Phleps, Farbige Architektur, 24–25; Blagg, “Terra-cotta”, 276–277. Also noting colour traces: R. Egidi and R. Rea, Sepolcri della via Latina, in Archeologia e Giubileo. Gli interventi a Roma e nel Lazio nel Piano per il Grande Giubileo del 2000, ed. Fedora Filippi (Naples: Electa, 2001), 289–95.

(135.) Blagg, “Terra-cotta”, 280–281.

(136.) Nicole Riedl, “Wandmalerei in freier Bewitterung. Konservatorische Herausforderungen am UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe Konstantinsbasilika Tier – eine Einführung,” in Weltkulturerbe Konstantinsbasilika Trier. Wandmalerei in freier Bewitterung als konservatorische Herausforderung, ed. Nicole Riedl, ICOMOS: Hefte des Deutschen Nationalkomitees, vol. 55 (2013), 12–20; and Nicole Riedl and Friederike Funke, “Die römische Außenmalerei und ihre Restaurierungsgeschichte,” in Riedl, Weltkulturerbe, 42–54.

(137.) Dina Sperl, “Glas und Licht in Architektur und Kunst,” in Licht und Architektur, eds. Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer and Wolfram Hoepfner (Tübingen, Germany: E. Wasmuth, 1990), 65–70; for Herculaneum: Maria Paola Guidobaldi et al., “La presenza di vetri alle finestre di edifici pubblici e privati nell’antica Ercolano,“ in Il vetro in Italia centrale dall’antichità al contemporaneo, XVII Giornate Nazionali di Studio sul Vetro, Massa Martana and Perugia, March 1112, 2013, eds. Luciana Mandruzzato, Teresa Medici, Marina Uboldi (Milan: Centro Culturale Mediolanense, 2015), 139–143.

(138.) Dubois-Pelerin, Luxe privé, 140–147; and Paolo Liverani, “Le colonne e il capitello in bronzo d’età romana dell’altare del SS. Sacramento in Laterano. Analisi archeologica e problematica storica,” Atti della Pontificia accademia romana di archeologia. Rendiconti 65 (1992–1993): 75–99.

(139.) Dunbabin, Mosaics, 255, 259; and Dubois-Pelerin, Luxe privé, 166.

(140.) Guidobaldi, “Sectilia pavimenta,” 30.

(141.) For decorative friezes, see Dubois-Pelerin, Luxe privé, 143; and Sabrina Violante, “Rivestimenti parietali e pavimentali, elementi architettonici e di arredo minore,” in Museo Nazionale Romano: Evan Gorga: La collezione di archeologia, ed. Alessandra Capodiferro et al. (Milan, Italy: Electa 2013), 157–162 (pls. I–IV). For inlay of revetments, see Dubois-Pelerin, Luxe privé,152–158 on different meanings and applications. For capitals and pilasters, see Fedora Filippi (ed.), I colori del fasto: Palazzo Altemps; la domus del Gianicolo e i suoi marmi Roma, Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Altemps, 17 Dicembre 200518 Aprile 2006 (Milan, Italy: Electa, 2005), 36–48, 52–65.

(142.) Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 111–112; and see note 109 with further examples and bibliography.

(143.) For examples, see Mielsch, Stuckreliefs, passim.

(144.) Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 93–94, fig. 2.17–19; Elizabeth Bolman, “Late Antique Aesthetics, Chromophobia, and the Red Monastery, Sohag, Egypt,” Eastern Christian Art 3 (2006): 1–24; Bolman, “Painted skins: The Illusions and Realities of Architectural Polychromy, Sinai and Egypt,” in Approaching the Holy Mountain. Art and Liturgy at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, ed. Sharon E-J. Gerstel and Robert S. Nelson (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2010), 119–140.

(145.) Mielsch, Stuckreliefs, 101–102.

(146.) Domenico Camardo and Mario Notomista, “The Roof and Suspended Ceiling of the Marble Room in the House of the Telephus Relief at Herculaneum,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 28 (2015): 39–70; Angela Savalli, Paola Pesaresi, Lorenzo Lazzarini, “Casa del Rilievo di Telefo and Opus Sectile at Herculaneum,” in Interdisciplinary Studies on Ancient Stone 10. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference of ASMOSIA, ed. Patrizio Pensabene and Eleonora Gasparini (Rome: Erma di Bretschneider, 2014), 349–361.

(147.) Mattern, “Erscheinungsformen”, 22–23; and Mark Bradley, “Colour and Marble in Early Imperial Rome,” The Cambridge Classical Journal 52 (2006): 1–22.

(148.) Incrustations: Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer, “Apollodorus von Damaskus, der Architekt des Pantheon,” Jahrbuch Des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 90 (1975), 333–334; Bitterer, Marmorverkleidung, 163; and cupola: William L. MacDonald, The Pantheon. Design, Meaning, and Progeny (London: A. Lane 1976, repr. 2002), 38–40.

(149.) Pompeii, Casa dei Quattro Stili (cubiculum) and House of the Golden Cupids (lararium): Dubois-Pelerin, Luxe privé, 153; and Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 95–96, fig. 2.21 and fig. 2.14 (stone inlays for veining at Ostia).

(150.) Rome, Porta Maggiore and Claudium: Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 48–50.

(151.) Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 112–121; Bente Kiilerich, “The Opus Sectile from Porta Marina at Ostia and the Aesthetics of Interior Decoration,” in Production and Prosperity in the Theodosian Period, ed. Ine Jacobs (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2014), 169–87; Bente Kiilerich, “Subtlety and Simulation in Late Antique Opus Sectile,” in Il colore nel Medioevo: Arte, Simbolo, Tecnica: tra materiali constitutive e colori aggiunti: mosaici, intarsi e plastica lapidea, Atti delle Giornate di Studi Lucca 2426 Ottobre 2013, ed. Paola Antonella Andreuccetti, Deborah Bindani (Lucca, Istituto Storico Lucchese, 2016), 41–59.

(152.) Barry, “Painting in Stone,” 147–50, Figs. 3.11–14; and Isabella Baldini: “Early Byzantine Churches in Crete and Cyprus between Local Identities and Homologation,” Cahiers du Centre d’Études Chypriotes 43 (2013): 34, Figs. 6a, b.

(154.) Liz James, “Colour and Meaning in Byzantium” Journal of Early Christian Studies 11 (2003): 223–233; Bissera V. Pentcheva, “Hagia Sophia and Mutlisensory Aesthetics,” Gesta 50 (2011): 93–111; and Nadine Schibille, Hagia Sophia and the Byzantine Aesthetic Experience (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014), 97–125.

(155.) Peter Prater, “Streit um Farbe. Die Wiederentdeckung der Polychromie in der griechischen Architektur und Plastik im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert,” in Bunte Götter. Die Farbigkeit antiker Skulptur. Eine Ausstellung der Staatlichen Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek München, ed. Vinzenz Brinkmann and Raimund Wünsche (Munich: Hirmer, 2004), 257–267; still fundamental David van Zanten, The Architectural Polychromy of the 1830s (New York: Garland Publishing, 1977); and also Uta Hassler, ed., Maltechnik & Farbmittel der Semperzeit (Munich: Hirmer, 2014), with a comprehensive collection of primary texts.

(156.) Recently, Arnd Hennemeyer, “Antike Architekturpolychromie im 19. Jahrhundert. Mit wissenschaftlicher Methode und künstlerischer Einfühlung vom Fragment zum Gesamtbild,” in Langfristperspektiven archäologischer Stätten. Wissensgeschichte und forschungsgeleitete Konservierung, ed. Uta Hassler (Munich: Hirmer, 2017), 275–298.

(157.) James Stuart and Nicolas Revett, Antiquities of Athens vol. III (London: Haberkorn, 1794), 7, Pl. IX (D,E); Hansgeorg Bankel, ed., Carl Haller von Hallerstein in Griechenland: 18101817; Architekt, Zeichner, Bauforscher; Ausstellung: Carl Haller von Hallerstein in Griechenland 18101817, München 14, Februar bis 15, März 1986 (Berlin: Reimer, 1986).

(158.) Jilleen Nadolny, “The first century of published scientific analyses of the materials of historical painting and polychromy, circa 1780–1880,” Reviews in Conservation 4 (2003): 1–13.

(159.) Wilhelm Johann Zahn, Die schönsten Ornamente und merkwürdigsten Gemälde aus Pompeji, Herkulaneum und Stabiae nebst einigen Grundrissen und Ansichten nach den an Ort und Stelle gemachten Originalzeichnungen/ Les plus beaux ornements et les tableaux les plus remarquables de Pompei, d’Herculaneum et de Stabiae avec quelques plans, vues, d’après les dessins originaux exécutés sur les lieux, vol. 1 (Berlin: Reimer 1828/1829); on its signficance Arnd Hennemeyer, “Wilhelm Zahns Pompeji-Publikation: eine Inkunabel der Farblithografie,” in Hassler, Maltechnik & Farbmittel, 98–123.

(160.) Jacques Ignace Hittorff, Restitution du temple d’Empédocle à Sélinonte, ou l’architecture polychrome chez les Grecs (Paris: Libraries de Firmin Didot Fréres, 1851).

(161.) Franz Kugler, Ueber die Polychromie der griechischen Architektur und Skulptur und ihre Grenzen (Berlin: Gropius, 1835); and Gottfried Semper, Vorläufige Bemerkungen über bemalte Architectur und Plastik bei den Alten (Altona: Hammerich, 1834).

(162.) For the state of knowledge at the end of the 19th century: Josef Durm, Handbuch der Architektur. Zweiter Theil. Die Baustile, Historische und Technische Entwicklung. Bd. 1: Die Baukunst der Griechen (3rd ed.; Leipzig: Kröner, 1910), 224–242.

(163.) Gottfried Semper, “Scoprimento d’antichi colouri sulla Colonna di Trajano. Al dott. Kellermann,” Bullettino del Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica (1833), 92–93; publication of scientific results: Gottfried Semper, Die textile Kunst für sich betrachtet und in Beziehung zur Baukunst. Bd. 1. Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten oder praktische Ästhetik (Frankfurt a. M.: Verl. für Kunst und Wissenschaft, 1860), 524–525; and Prosper-Mathieu Morey, “Sui colori altre volte veduti nelle sculture della Colonna trajana. Lettera al sig. cav. Bunsen,” Bullettino dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica (1836), 39–41.

(164.) On this, see Stephan Zink, “Polychrome Reconstructions of Roman Architecture between Evidence, Ideal, and Ideology,” in “Bauforschung” and Classical Architecture. Festschrift Lothar Haselberger, ed. Elisha Dumser and Dorian Borbonus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, TBD).

(165.) E.g., Giulio Ferrari, Gli stili nella forma e nel colore. Rassegne del’arte Antica e Moderna d tutti paesi, vol. 1 (Turin: C. Crudo, 1925); or Phleps, Farbige Architektur.

(166.) Schwandner, Der ältere Porostempel, 130, 136–140 (J. Riederer); Bankel, Tempel der Aphaia, 111–113; and Bankel, “Farbmodelle” (with colour reconstruction); Clemente Marconi, “Le attività dell’Institute of Fine Arts: NYU sull’Acropoli di Selinunte (2006–2010),” in Sicilia Occidentale: Studi, Rassegne, Ricerche, ed. Carmine Ampolo (Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, 2012), 279–286. Fig. 484.

(167.) See note 11 (“scialbatura”) and note 129 (Trajan’s column).

(168.) Hellmann, L’Architecture grecque and Zink, “Polychromy”; for the earlier definition, Richard Borrmann, “Polychromie (der Bauwerke),” in Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums zur Erläuterung des Lebens der Griechen und Römer in Religion, Kunst und Sitte, ed. August Baumeister (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1888), 1335–1343.

(169.) See note 152; Barry, “Painting in Stone”; Bradley, “Synaesthetic Experience”; Maud Mulliez, Le luxe de l’imitation. Les trompe l’oeil de la fin de la République romaine, mémoire des artisans de la couleur, Collection du Centre Jean Bérard 44 (Naples: Centre Jean Bérard, 2014); and Andreas Grüner, “Licht und Oberfläche bei Vitruv. Überlegungen zum Status sensualistischer Gestaltungsstrategien in der römischen Architektur,” in Firmitas et Splendor. Vitruv und die Techniken des Wanddekors, ed. Erwin Emmerling et al. (Munich: Verlag der Anton Siegl Fachbuchhandlung GmbH, 2014), 415–463; Grand-Clément, “Poikilia.”

(170.) Groundbreaking is Summitt, Architectural Polychromy; further Mandel, “White in Antiquity”; Bente Kiilerich, “Monochromy, Dichromy, and Polychromy in Byzantine Art,” in Doron Rhodopoikilon. Studies in Honour of Jan Olof Rosenqvist, ed. Denis Searby, Ewa Balicka-Witakowska, and Johan Heldt (Uppsala, Finland: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012), 169–86; and Zink, “Polychromy,” passim.

Do you have feedback?