The Modern Invention of Ancient White Marble

Archaeologists Vinzenz and Ulrike Koch Brinkmann have spent the last 40 years dedicated to the study of polychromy—or “many colors” in Greek—in ancient sculpture. Once a fringe area of study, their research combats the misconception of white purity in ancient Greece and Rome. They reflect on the marble bust of Caligula and how the reconstruction of its former color can help us better understand history. © 2022 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Cite this page as: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "The Modern Invention of Ancient White Marble," in Smarthistory, July 19, 2022, accessed April 20, 2024,