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There is something so incredibly inviting about the Ancient Roman aesthetic.

Even with all their intricate and ornate detail, the classical white Roman statue was still flawlessly simple; a perfect visual illustration of pristine beauty and creative restraint that when combined, brought to life a seductive ambiguity, that centuries later, still feels provocative and fresh.

Ancient Roman art, design, and architecture defined what “classic” was before “classic” ever existed.

The paintings portraying Ancient Rome are magnificent. The city is dripping from head to toe in dazzling marble, looking so pearly white and sublime.

But what if I told you it was all a lie?

What if I told you those achromatic chiseled bodies of Cesar, Caligula, and other famous leaders and warriors of Ancient Rome were actually garishly colorful statues, that most times looked like chintzy modern-day department store mannequins?

Some of you may already know about this revelation, but even if you do, stick with me, because I have a different spin.

And if you’re just hearing about this for the first time, it may surprise you to find out that your history books lied.

Those white stone masterpieces that you know and love actually looked quite different.

Below is Emperor Caligula.

On the right is how we’ve always known him; a stunning marble alpha male with empty eyes that told a thousand different stories.

However, the version on the left is what Caligula’s statue would’ve actually looked like; a goofy teenager who works at Abercrombie and Fitch.

Say it isn’t so…

And then there’s Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman Empire.

You’ll likely remember his statue like this: a chiseled Roman god-like creature with a haircut worn by half of the Jersey Shore.

He looked commanding, mysterious, and regal.

But was that an accurate portrayal?

Not really.

In actuality, Cesar looked much less regal and commanding, and far more like Mark Zuckerberg delivering a TED Talk.


So, what happened?

Why do so many of us remember ancient Roman art and architecture as a sea of white marble?

Is it because of the “Mandela Effect? That bizarre phenomenon that makes us question even the most mundane memories from our past?

No, it’s much simpler than that.

But first, I want to address the controversy about this discovery. Researchers and archeologists discovered that ancient Roman (and Greek) artifacts and buildings that we thought were all white, were actually bursting with color. They studied pieces closely and found evidence of polychromy—all-over color. This isn’t surprising if you know anything about ancient history. The ancients would have erected the buildings and created the statues to please the Gods, and as a result, would have covered them in bright colors. In addition, if you look at the remains of Pompeii, you can see how vibrant the colors were both inside the homes and on public buildings.

So how did we go from colorful to whitewashed?

Well, the myth of white marble is rooted in the Renaissance.

Ancient Rome was first excavated in the 8th century A.D. This is when archaeologists first unearthed key finds from public buildings, and because the artifacts were buried for centuries, most of their color had worn off and they looked white.

Centuries later, Renaissance artists, who were obsessed with anything and everything “antiquity,” began feverishly recreating the unpainted look in every artistic medium available to them.

They didn’t know any better and believed this was how Ancient Rome looked; bathed in glistening white marble as far as the eye could see. The myth of pearly white Rome continued into the 18th century and beyond.

Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who many consider the “father of art history,” likely knew the ancients used garish colors to decorate their statues and buildings, but he wasn’t fond of that aesthetic. Winckelmann once said, “The whiter the body is the more beautiful it is as well. Color contributes to beauty, but it is not beauty. Color should have a minor part in the consideration of beauty because it is not color but structure that constitutes its essence.”

Simply put, he pushed the narrative that antiquity was a sea of unpainted marble, and it stuck.

Winckelmann’s remarks on the “whiter body” were referring to the marble as a canvas and how white is the color that reflects the most rays of light, and thus is most easily perceived. And white marble, in its raw and natural state, allows the movement and flow of the sculpture to become more pronounced. He believed color, while beautiful, should be used in small doses, so as not to interrupt this magnificent creative dance.

But of course, that’s not how the left saw it. You can’t say the words “white” and “beautiful” in the same sentence without liberals losing their collective minds.

Winckelmann’s thoughts on the whiteness of marble sent race-obsessed liberals off on yet another insane tangent.

Liberals believe that everyone, even 18th-century historians and archaeologists. were working on behalf of Donald J. Trump and his “racist” MAGA agenda.

And while that may sound silly, it’s really not that far from the truth. Liberals latched onto “Polychromy” (all over color) as a battle cry against white supremacy.

Liberals believe the very idea of a “White Ancient Rome” is a way for today’s white supremacists to further their agenda.

As a matter of fact, just admiring marble’s whiteness is enough to get you labeled a “racist” nowadays. I hope your kitchen counters are rainbow “LGBTQ” granite, or you’re in big trouble.

In researching for this piece, I happened upon an article from a publication called, Hyperallergic. Just the title of the piece reveals how insanely fragile and paranoid progressives are:

“Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color”

And as I read through the article, I saw the same tired, worn-out racist theories and dog whistles play out:

The equation of white marble with beauty is not an inherent truth of the universe; it’s a dangerous construct that continues to influence white supremacist ideas today.


To many, the pristine whiteness of marble statues is the expectation and thus the classical ideal. But the equation of white marble with beauty is not an inherent truth of the universe. Where this standard came from and how it continues to influence white supremacist ideas today are often ignored.


The ties between barbarism and color, civility and whiteness would endure. Not to mention Winckelmann’s pronounced preference for sculptures of gleaming white men over women. Regardless of his own sexual identity — which may have been expressed in this preference — Winckelmann’s gender bias would go on to have an impact on white male supremacists who saw themselves as upholding an ideal.

But it wasn’t just fringe websites who were pushing this nonsense. ABC Australia interviewed a professor named Vinzenz Brinkmann, who you’ll hear more about later. But for now, he is the man who thinks he linked racist ideology to blinding white ancient sculptures:

Is there a link between racist ideology and the blinding whiteness of classical sculpture?

Did Leonardo da Vinci and his contemporaries whitewash unearthed classical statues, disfiguring them forever in the West’s imagination?

According to Professor Vinzenz Brinkmann, an expert in Greek sculpture, the answer is yes, on both counts.


By the twentieth century, the assumed “whiteness” of these sculptures became a screen on which to project racist fantasies.

In both Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, a particularly Roman form of classicism was deployed as a visual language in their fascist symbols and iconography.

Flawlessly beautiful, able-bodied and hypermasculine, classical sculptures today seem unnaturally overblown. Even the water pythons constricting the ripped Trojan priest Laocoon in the famous group sculpture appear to have been on the juice.

The ancient Greeks were for the most part representing immortal gods and partly divine heroes in their sculptures — they had a license to exaggerate.

Poor Dr. Brinkmann, it must be exhausting to see racism, toxic masculinity, and misogyny under every rock you dig up.

As a result of this “marble supremacy,” the left has been on a quest to “re-colorize” Ancient Rome once again.

Back in 2017, an exhibit called “Gods in Color” traveled the world showing the public what these ancient artifacts really looked like. Here’s a snippet from their website:

Although the classical ideal usually evokes unadorned bronze and white marble sculptures, the art of ancient cultures was often painted to dazzling and powerful effect. Thanks to modern science, we can discover what pigments were used and how these sculptures would have originally looked. Gods in Color presents reconstructions of well-known sculptural works from ancient Greece and Rome to uncover their original colors and uncover the spirit of classical civilizations as never before. These are complemented by original antiquities from the Mediterranean world and early nineteenth-century watercolors that provide a more comprehensive view of polychromy in ancient cultures.

Now, this exhibit could have been far more interesting and important from a historical point of view, if they presented it in a fair and impartial way. But sadly, the man behind “Gods in Color” is just another race-obsessed, self-loathing white liberal… and who is he? None other than Dr. Vinzenz Brinkmann, the man I told you about who supposedly “linked” racism with ancient marble statues.

In addition, the mainstream media and left-wing activists promoted Dr. Brinkmann’s exhibit like it was going out of style. They used it to further guilt white people or anybody who likes marble.

Honestly, I don’t care what anybody says — aesthetically speaking; I prefer the unpainted marble. Yes, I know this makes me an honorary  and historically anachronistic member of the KKK or something, but I guess it’s the cross I must bear (not burn!) for artistic freedom.

But seriously, for me, those perfectly sculpted white faces with their empty eye sockets staring off into nothingness, allowed me to fill in the blanks, and creatively speaking, I loved that.

Being a minimalist at heart, the monochrome statues and buildings felt soothing to my soul. And that has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with artistic beauty.

But when all is said and done, realness matters most.

And now, thanks to scientific discoveries, we know Ancient Romans lived in a colorful world, filled with deep reds, vibrant greens, and bright yellows.

And we also know that centuries later, when they came back to life once again through the magic and beauty of Renaissance art, they did so encased in glorious white marble.

Both mediums have a place of honor in history, and neither should be used to further the left’s ugly and divisive political ideology.

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