In LIving Color

In LIving Color

Color the Temple (Image, the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Filip Wolak)

The Temple of Dendur has always been my favorite place to visit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An actual temple from Egypt transported to the museum in 1978, there was always something about this ancient edifice, made out of sandstone, its base decorated with carvings of papyrus and lotus plants growing out of the River Nile, that made me feel serene and reflective. Now, there is something that makes this ancient temple, originally constructed around 15 B.C. by Petronius, the Roman governor of Egypt, even more cool. Technical specialists in the MediaLab at the Met combined forces with the art scholars in the Egyptian Art Department to replicate the decorations on one wall of the Temple that were colored in over 2,000 years ago. Though they have since eroded away, these historians and technicians were able to recreate the colors that were most probably used in antiquity, now being projected onto a ritual scene carved into the sandstone of the Temple. In this particular scene, the Roman emperor Augustus, depicted as a pharaoh, makes an offering to Egyptian deities.

The gorgeous colored image is on display every Friday and Saturday evening from 5-9 p.m., through March 19.

» The Temple of Dendur, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., 212.535.7710