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Keywords:

  • ITALY;
  • ROME;
  • TRAJAN'S FORUM;
  • ROMAN;
  • TRAJAN'S COLUMN;
  • PAINT;
  • PIGMENT;
  • HEMATITE;
  • MINIUM;
  • COLOURS;
  • PATINA;
  • POLYCHROMY;
  • SCIALBATURA

Recent restorations of Trajan's Column uncovered two marble fragments bearing traces of pigments, bright red (minium, hematite) in one case, and yellowish-orange (minium, hematite, clay minerals) in the other. Both were applied to the marble surface on a plaster underlayer. The presence of an underlayer and of surfaces coloured according to subject tells us that the colours were applied deliberately. Although the use of minium plus hematite is confirmed by archaeological finds, there is only a good probability that the colours were applied on the column at the time of its completion.