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October 28, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World

Legion of Honor: Galleries B‒F


Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

The exhibition reimagines how Classical sculptures might have been painted and appeared to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Based on close study of the originals and on scientific analyses and examination of the polychromatic paints found on them, the pigments have now been identified and reproduced on modern full-sized copies of the Greek and Roman originals. An array of these reconstructions will be on display next to Classical, Near Eastern, and Egyptian art from the Fine Arts Museums as well as ancient sculptures on loan from public and private California collections. The exhibition will also be complemented by an assemblage of watercolors of landscapes and ruins of Greece drawn by Edward Dodwell (1777 or 1778‒1832) and Simone Pomardi (ca. 1757‒1830) from 1805 to 1806, on loan from the Packard Humanities Institute.

This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection, Frankfurt.

Presenting Sponsors

Barbro and Bernard Osher

Diane B. Wilsey

Curator's Circle

Packard Humanities Institute

Lisa Sardegna and David A. Carillo

Additional support is provided by Bernard and Jane von Bothmer in honor of Dr. Dietrich von Bothmer, and Elizabeth D. Moyer, PhD, and Michael C. Powanda, PhD.

Further contribution is graciously given by Keesal Young & Logan. To purchase tickets to the exhibition: Click here. The symposium, The Pervasiveness of Pigment in Antiquity, celebrates the opening of the exhibition, Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World, on Saturday, 28 October. The symposium is sponsored by Elizabeth D. Moyer, PhD, and Michael C. Powanda, PhD. For information and registration: Click here.

Related Programs


Plan Your Visit

This exhibition will be held in the 

Legion of Honor: Galleries B‒F

About Exhibitions at the Ancient Art Council

Exhibitions are an important aspect of a curatorial department. The Ancient Art Department has organized and mounted over the years exhibitions showcasing art from different ancient cultures in the Mediterranean. Some of these exhibitions are also accompanied by scholarly catalogues written, edited, or with contributions by the curator in charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation, and published by the Publications Department. Exhibitions, like publications, fulfill the fundamental commitment of the Department to education, research, and scholarship.

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