Opendata, web and dolomites


Polychromy: the meaning of Colour in Roman African statues

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PolyCRomA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PolyCRomA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PolyCRomA" about.

corpus    last    asia    variations    sources    relation    imaging    provenance    coloured    typology    omnipresent    raman    data    proposing    polychromy    perception    rome    edx    taste    inventoried    explores    collection    bardo    offers    purpose    artefacts    mosaic    though    videomicroscope    statuary    proconsular    seems    imperial    xrf    ancient    coupling    visual    uv    political    situ    understudied    vil    copying    evaluation    painting    multidisciplinary    undergo    modern    long    museum    roman    epigraphic    counterparts    mentioning    sem    techniques    fashion    africa    conceived    minor    natural    literary    hyperspectral    traces    action    scope    ambiguous    pixe    socio    discovery    illusionistic    history    ft    tunisia    multispectral    systematic    analysed    archaeological    context    colour    reflected    cooperation    humanities    religious    investigation    samples    micro    variety    phenomenon    society    documented    quality    greek    workshops    province    preserved    local    first    ir    african    statues    quantitative    marble    sciences    mirror   

Project "PolyCRomA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PLACE DU 20 AOUT 7
city: LIEGE
postcode: 4000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 178˙320 €
 EC max contribution 178˙320 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-09-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITE DE LIEGE BE (LIEGE) coordinator 178˙320.00


 Project objective

Long neglected, the polychromy of ancient statues has been increasingly studied during the last 20 years with a multidisciplinary cooperation between humanities and natural sciences. If the use of colour seems omnipresent in Greek statues with an illusionistic aim, the phenomenon is not only understudied in Roman statues but also more ambiguous: the fashion for copying Greek statues seems to develop the taste for marble and the socio-political value of the statues could be reflected in the use of colour. This action explores the meaning of Roman Imperial statues polychromy in Proconsular Africa though the Bardo museum collection in Tunisia, proposing the first systematic study of the use of colour in the statuary of an important Imperial province. The variety of typology, quality and provenance (local, Asia Minor, Rome workshops) of the more than 100 coloured statues in the corpus offers a significant mirror of the African society. Moreover, as the archaeological context of discovery is well known, the meaning of the polychromy will be analysed in relation with the socio-political and religious purpose with which these artefacts were conceived. The preserved traces of colour will first be documented by coupling visual investigation (by the support of multispectral imaging and UV and VIL videomicroscope) and in-situ analyses (XRF and µRaman) in order to identify the techniques used to colour the statues. Selected micro-samples will undergo further quantitative analyses (PIXE, SEM/EDX, hyperspectral imaging, FT-IR). Finally literary and epigraphic sources of Proconsular Africa mentioning the colour of statues will be inventoried and the use of colour on the statues will be compared with their counterparts in painting and mosaic. The overall evaluation of the data will go beyond the scope of the province and will reach wider conclusions on the variations in the use of colour and its meaning, contributing to the history of colour and the modern perception of Roman art.

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The information about "POLYCROMA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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