General Question

Jbor's avatar

Were ancient buildings painted?

Asked by Jbor (649points) December 24th, 2010

It’s broadly accepted that ancient roman and greek statues were painted, even though we today typically accept the natural stone as being authentic. Were the ancient temples and other buildings painted as well?

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9 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Without looking up sources, I’m pretty sure many were, but the paint has worn off over the years. At least that’s what I remember from my college art history classes eons ago.

Anemone's avatar

^ That’s my understanding as well, @Rarebear. In fact, they were painted with rather bright colors, from what I remember. (Not from being there—I’m not that old! I learned it on a trip to Rome.) I’m pretty sure the buildings in New World cities were also colorfully decorated.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yes, they were generally painted.

VioletYellow's avatar

I am an Historian. Yes, they were painted. We’ve somehow been made to believe everything used to be dingy and boring, not true. Even a lot of the monuments in egypt, most especially obelisks, were painted to serve as what we would now call billboards.

Zaku's avatar

@VioletYellow I hadn’t heard that about Egyptian monuments. What sorts of pictures? Pharoahs and gods? Eat at Joe’s? When did they stop being painted?

Palindrome's avatar

I agree with @Rarebear, I recently went to Turkey over this past summer and visited my aunt who lived in a town/village that was centered in old Byzantine ruins.
We explored the ruins and there was an orthodox church/temple that still had some paint on it’s stone walls. It was faint, but you could tell it had been painted.

VioletYellow's avatar

@Zaku….I like that “Eat at Joe’s” :) Mostly political issues, but also royalty and gods. Propaganda if you will. They (ancient egyptians) didn’t really stop painting them (if i get the gist of your question correct) the paint just wares away over the centuries of exposure.

Sunny2's avatar

The ancient Egyptians painted messages on the insides and outsides of buildings. Inside a storage cave you may find pictures tallying what and how much was stored there. The less accessible the cave, the brighter the colors are. Exposure gradually dims the colors. Other buildings might tell religious stories of ancient gods. Today’s Egyptians may have paintings on the outer walls of their homes. A prevalent one is of an airplane, indicating they have made a journey to Mecca.

cover139's avatar

to me i think they were painted so that it was a little more attractive

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