Scientists using a new technique have discovered the colorful and once-hidden scenes in paintings of the ancient Etruscans, a group of people who flourished in the Italian peninsula around 2,500 years ago before Rome became powerful.
For example, they found new details in a painting of the “Monkey’s Tomb” and scenes from an underworld in another work of art.
The Etruscans created detailed paintings, but with the passage of time many of them are only partially visible and much of their color has been lost.
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“A major problem is the significant loss of information on polychromy [colors] preserved paintings, paying particular attention to certain specific colors due to their physico-chemical composition, ”said Gloria Adinolfi, researcher at Pegaso Srl Archeologia Arte Archeometria (a research institute), in a presentation given on January 8 during of the annual virtual conference meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies.
The fact that some colors survive the passage of time better than others can give a distorted view of what old paintings looked like on…
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