An acrolith is a composite sculpture made of stone and other materials, as in the case of a figure whose torso is made of wood, while the head, hands, and feet are made of marble. The wood was concealed either by drapery or by gilding; only the marble parts were exposed to view. This type of statuary was common and widespread in Classical antiquity.
Similarly, chryselephantine sculpture used ivory instead of marble, and often gold on parts of the body and ornaments. Acroliths are frequently mentioned by Pausanias (100s CE), the best known example being the Athene Areia ("Warlike Athena") of the Plataeans.
Examples of acrolithic sculptures
- Athene Areia of the Plataeans
- Colossus of Constantine
- Antinous Mondragone
- Hera Farnese
- Augustus, dea Roma, Tiberius, Livia from Leptis Magna in Libya
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Barrett, Anthony A (2002). Livia,First Lady of Imperial Rome. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10298-7.
- Media related to Acrolithic statues at Wikimedia Commons