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caligula had anime eyes

wait romans painted their marble sculptures

it looks like a cheap theme park ride mascot


here’s a statue of Augustus

and here’s a reproduction of the statue with the colors restored 

i honestly think that what we consider the height of sculpture in all of Western civilization being essentially the leftover templates of gaudy pieces of theme park shit to be evidence of the potential merit of found art

“I tried coloring it and then I ruined it”

And you know what the funniest part is? The paint didn’t just wear off over time. A bunch of asshole British historians back in the Victorian era actually went around scrubbing the remaining paint off of Greek and Roman statues – often destroying the fine details of the carving in the process – because the bright colours didn’t fit the dignified image they wished to present of the the cultures they claimed to be heirs to. This process also removed visible evidence of the fact that at least some of the statues thus stripped of paint had originally depicted non-white individuals.

Whenever you look at a Roman statue with a bare marble face, you’re looking at the face of imperialist historical revisionism.

(The missing noses on a lot of Egyptian statues are a similar deal. It’s not that the ancient Egyptians made statues with strangely fragile noses. Many Victorian archaeologists had a habit of chipping the noses off of the statues they brought back, then claiming that they’d found them that way – because with the noses intact, it was too obvious that the statues were meant to depict individuals of black African descent.)

Sorry, I keep reblogging this over and over, the last comment is unbelievable. Wow.

Yes, it is unbelievable. Literally. Because it’s not true.There will have been some  British historians who cleaned paint off, in fact there are, but they learned it from the Italians, who had been do this for years already. Since the renaissance, in fact.

And the noses are a whole other matter, without even getting into the ancient Egypt race debate. Noses in particular are one of the most fragile parts of any statues, so they are the most likely to be damaged through normal wear and tear. You also don’t see many ancient statues with their penises, but for some reason you never see the photos of that damage in textbooks. Many others are also missing fingers, toes, ears, arms and accoutrements such as spears, tools, books and so on.

Some of these statues are thousands of years old (over 5,000 years, for some of the oldest Egyptian ones), and have been outside in the desert and harsh environmental conditions for most of that time, and exposed to the violence that goes with changing cultures and religions. Extremities weather off, and paint based on natural materials fade and flake away under the sun, wind and sand.

The Ancient Egyptians themselves knocked off the noses of statues, since they believed that the souls of the dead could inhabit statues and see what was going on in the world. They also believed that breath was quite literally life, so the easiest way to prevent a soul from entering a statue was to stop the breath from entering. Through the nose

There have also been thousands of years of cultural/religious changes in that time, including nearly two thousand years of Christian and Islamic fundamentalism, neither of which are well known for treating ‘pagan’ art with respect

This still happens, btw. Check out what IS did to Palmyra earlier this year. In fact IS has destroyed more ancient history and archaeology in the last year or two than just about anyone in history, including most of the sites at Palmyra, Dura Europos, Ninevah, Nimrud and Hatra.

@thatlittleegyptologist how accurate is that last comment about Egyptians knocking the noses off statues?

They did indeed! Basically, the Ancient Egyptians believed that the Ka was contained within the statue and the Ba in the afterlife would fly back and forth receiving sustenance from offerings left at the Ka statue. If a part of the body was missing then the deceased suffered in the afterlife. The worst thing to do would be to remove the nose or head as that would effectively stop the Ba from breathing in the afterlife, and thus killing them again. That was the worst thing you could do to someone without desecrating their corpse. You would essentially rip their afterlife from them and cause them to no longer exist. The ultimate insult, hence why iconoclasm and damnatio memoriae were are so prevalent among those the Egyptians hated. They wished to erase them, in this life and the next.

#HOWEVER#the british DID knock off the dicks of statues#for ‘modesty’#but they KEPT THEM#so somewhere in the british museum#is a box full of marble cocks

(via @greencarnations)

Also, what survived on the statues are particles from the basecoats. The highlights and fine detail laid on over those would have left no trace at all once the paint-stripping had got that far.