Caesar Augustus, in living color …

656Our concept of classical art and architecture is largely in shades of white—the marble masterpieces that have survived to our millennium. But they were originally vivid in color. About 10 years ago the Vatican Museum had reproductions of statues colored as they were originally. This is Caesar Augustus in the armor of a military commander and wearing the deep red imperial sash. He is speaking to the army.

When you visit the museum, you must study up ahead of time and get a great guide. Plan to spend at least two hours, not counting the Sistine Chapel (where you may linger only 15 minutes). I could return half a dozen times more and not see all I would like to see.

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