18 May 2022 Start
18 May 2022 End
19.00 EEST Time
Greece / online French School of Athens, Didotou 6 / online

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The Hunt Frieze of the “Tomb of Philip II” at Aegae

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The eighth Seminar on Greek and Roman Antiquity is organized by the Institute of Historical Studies of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and the French School in Athens.

Speaker: Haricleia Brekoulaki / Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation

Title: The Hunt Frieze of the “Tomb of Philip II” at Aegae: Facing the Challenge of a New Colour Reconstruction


The hunt frieze decorating the façade of Tomb II at Aegae, discovered by Manolis Andronikos in 1977, is the largest and most fascinating figural painting of Classical antiquity. Because of the extensive damage of its pictorial surface, a meticulous drawing and a colour reconstruction of the painting were produced in 1985 by the archaeologist Giorgos Miltsakakis, hitherto serving as the primary visual reference of the original. In spite of the very high fidelity of those reconstructions as far as line drawing is concerned, the “reconstructed” colours of the hunt frieze were enhanced to resemble those of a restricted palette composed of warm hues only (the so-called four-colour palette), in order to accommodate academic preconceptions of what ancient painting should look like. A recent preliminary scientific investigation of the hunt frieze using multispectral imaging and elemental analytical techniques, confirmed the wealth of information that it was possible to retrieve from the pictorial surface and the fact that the hunt frieze was produced with a much larger and varied gamut of pigments than previously thought. A current project (ReVis) funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (ΕΛ.ΙΔ.Ε.Κ.) and hosted at the Institute of Historical Research (NHRF), proposes a thorough non-invasive investigation of the hunt frieze by applying state-of-the art technology in order to accurately evaluate the nature of the painting materials and the visual aspect of the original colours. This presentation addresses methodological and ethical challenges related to the creation a new colour reconstruction of the hunt frieze.

Live attendance at the Conference Room of the French School of Athens, Didotou 6

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