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Treu Head

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1884,0617.1

  • Title (object)

    • Treu Head
  • Description

    Marble insert head from a statue of Venus or Minerva, with traces of black and red paint on the eyebrows and eyes, and yellow paint on the hair and brow. The flesh is stained pink.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 140-150 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 38.1 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The head is remarkable for the rich pigment traces it preserves and needs to be handled with great care. It is a key piece for any discussion of ancient sculptural polychromy.
    For a detailed description of the original colour traces see. G. Treu, "Bemalter Marmorkopf im Britischen Museum", JdI 4 (1889), 18-24 pl. 1.
    The head has since been extensively re-investigated scientifically, see: G. Verri, T. Opper and T. Deviese, "The 'Treu Head': a case study in Roman sculptural polychromy", The British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 4 (2010), 39-54.

    Two detached fragments from the sides of the head have recently been re-identified and re-attached.

    The head originally contained an ancient iron dowel (perhaps part of a meniskos) that was extracted after the head was acquired, in order to protect the marble. The dowel is registered as 1884.6-17.2.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Sculpture 1597 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2014, 4 Sept - 30 Nov, Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, The 4th Dimension: Colour in Ancient Sculpture

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1884

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1884,0617.1

Marble head from a statue of Aphrodite, with traces of black and red paint on the eyebrows and eyes, and yellow paint on the hair and brow. The flesh is stained pink.

Marble head from a statue of Aphrodite, with traces of black and red paint on the eyebrows and eyes, and yellow paint on the hair and brow. The flesh is stained pink.

Image description

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Object reference number: GAA8506

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