Did the figurines have colors?

How did they make the paint?

To create a pigment, they first ground a fragment of rock into powder which they then mixed with some binder, like oil. If we look very carefully, we can still discern traces of color on some figurines.

The paints they used were found in nature. They were minerals that contained metallic oxides, mostly bronze and iron. The color blue came from azurite, red from hematite and cinnabar. Other colors they used -although not often- were black and green.

Look closer

On other figurines, details such as the eyes, the eyebrows and the hair seem to be modeled in relief against the rest of the surface. The paint that covered these areas protected the marble surface from erosion, thus preserving it in a better condition.


➜ Compare the figurines that we see today in the color of marble with other works of art from the Archaic and Classical periods, which were also colored.