The "Peplos Kore" (530 ΒC). Digital superimposition of original colors onto a 3D computer-generated image of the original ancient work. The development of this 3D model has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 270198

Archaic Colors

Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 - Thursday, 31 December, 2020

Τhe Acropolis Museum conducts research on its unique collection of archaic statues, which retain their colors to a small or large degree, and has opened a very extensive discussion with the public and various experts on color, its technical issues, its detection using new technologies, its experimental use on marble surfaces, its digital reconstruction, its meaning, as well as the archaic period’s aesthetic perception of color. So far, scientific research into the color found on ancient sculpture has made great progress and reached surprising conclusions that to a large degree refute the stereotypical assumptions regarding ancient sculpture. It turns out that color, far from being just a simple decorative element, added to the sculpture’s aesthetic quality.

For ancient Greeks and their society, color constituted a way to characterize various attributes. The blond hair of the gods projected their power; the brown skin of warriors and athletes was a sign of virtue and valor, while the white skin of the korai expressed the grace and radiance of youth.

The Μuseum’s initiative on Archaic Colors is based on very careful observation, on spectroscopic analysis, on special photography sessions, on efforts to reproduce the colors of antiquity and then to apply them on Parian marble, and naturally, on searching through written sources for valuable information on the pigments.

The statues’ crisp, saturated colors, on bright garments and tender bodies, combined with the rich jewelry, frequently made of metal, and elaborately curled hair created a singular aesthetic pleasure, making the archaic statues “wonderful to behold” for the people of the period.

Visitors can walk through the world's richest collection of Archaic statues (Archaic Gallery, first floor) and discover the ones that have retained their colors!

Family Backpack "Archaic Colors"

On the occasion of the initiative on Archaic Colors, the Museum invites families to discover the archaic colors through the following games: the game of discovering details, the painting box and the DOMINO.For more information click here

Digital game "Color the Peplos Kore"

Visitors also have the opportunity to continue participating in the “Archaic Colors“ initiative from home, through the online digital interactive game “Color the Peplos Kore“. Visitors can use the brush and colors of their choice, color the statue of Peplos Kore and finally print and save their work as many times as they wish and in several variations.

The Orchestra of Colours at the Archaic Gallery

On World Tourism Day, Thursday 27 September 2012, the Acropolis Museum hosted a special concert performed by the Orchestra of Colors at the Archaic Gallery, organised by the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism. You can watch the trailer here.