Hercules Under UV

A quick post to show you what I have been doing today with Mark (the marble guy) and Elizabeth (the student working with him). We spent the day with Hercules down in the bowels of the museum, illuminated by ultraviolet lights. No pigments on him, but under UV you can also see repaired breaks and whatever might be present on the sculpture’s surface (organic material, shellac, etc…).

All this 80s ultraviolet and industrial stuff makes me want to watch Blade Runner!

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5 thoughts on “Hercules Under UV

  1. All you need now to complete the ’80s theme are some glass-block walls and Jan Hammer “Miami Vice” ambient music! (Or maybe Harold Faltermeyer.)   A guy I know found a tiny head from a marble Aphrodite statuette (Hellenistic) in Greece back when he was a teenager. (He still has it.) Traces of paint can still be seen on the hair. They’re very faded, and only in the protected indentations of the hair waves, but still visible: reddish-brown. From what I’ve heard, it’s usually only certain parts of the body that were painted: hair, eyes, jewellery, etc. Seems like it would be a shame (to modern eyes anyway) to have painted anything else. If you’re going to do that, you might as well just make the statue out of clay, like the Tanagra-style figurines, and save a lot of effort.   Good luck with the hunting!   Tom.  

    • Hi Tom! The room we were in was noisy and we had to wear ear plugs. However, the night before, we did have an 80s night when we studied the sculptures in the darkened galleries under UV. I just plugged in my iPod (half the music on there is 80s stuff!) and we even wore fluorescent colours (that looked awesome under UV). We had great fun and the music kept us energized until midnight!!!

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