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.

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

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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