We all know classical art is made from white, pristine marble, right? Well yes, but the statues and architecture we admire would in fact only look half-baked in the eyes of a Roman or Greek.
In their world, buildings and pieces of art were painted in bright, brash colours, which almost look wrong in modern eyes.

Have a look at these replicas, which are on show at the Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm at the moment.

This is the goddess Athena, half restored to her former glory  (every girl should have snake or two around her person on an evening out).

This lion from Loutraki looks almost Eastern with his circled eyes and bindi-like forehead, a far cry from the  classical aesthetic we’re used to.

The Parthenon and the Colisseum would have been a riot of colours, and rather more earthy than the cool, haughty vision we have of that time in history – and boy did they know how to do a good sixpack…

The fact that classical art was originally painted has been known for centuries, as statues were dug up with residue of paint as on the lips of this Roman marble boxer.

But can the modern eye, with its love of white minimalism, ever be turned to prefer a more colourful past? Only time will tell…

Sara, managing editor