Bronze consists mainly of copper (approximately 90%), and small amounts of tin and zinc. When exposed to the environment for a long period of time, the natural colour of bronze, which is brownish golden, changes.Patches or streaks also appear on the surface.
Since the colour of patination cannot be accurately predicted and the excessively long time it takes for bronze to change colour naturally, artificial patination is done to lend a different colour to bronze sculptures in minutes.The natural patina may or may not be how you want your bronze sculpture to look. Therefore, an easyway to give your bronze sculpture the colour you desire is through patination.
What is Patination?
Patina is the layer that appears on bronzedue to exposure to the environment or by artificiallytreating it with chemicals. The patina provides the sculpturewith a protective layer and also gives you the freedom to have your bronze sculpture in your preferred colour.
Patination Colours for Bronze Sculptures
The colours of patinas that are developedartificially include:
- Renaissance Brown
- Herculaneum Black
- Pompeii Green
- A combination of colours
When choosing the colour of patina, it is advisable to consider the location, design and size of the sculpture.
The natural colour of bronze is golden brown. Quality bronze is actually gold and looks similar to brass.Over hundreds of years, this colour can turn greenishor brown and have blotches and streaks.You will find the bright green patinain many of the recovered sculptures of ancient Romans and Greeks.The natural green patina or Pompeii Green can be achieved by treating bronze with chemicals as well.
Renaissance or Florentine Brown
This patina is named thus because it was very popular in Italy during the renaissance. The colour has a unique richness to it and is perfect for interior pieces especially of smaller sizes. The patina is applied evenly on the sculpture. With the natural shine of bronze and the colour, the sculpture takes on animpressive ancient look. If kept indoors, ensure that there is sufficient lighting to highlight the engravings.
This is a blackpatina. Itwas named thus becauseblack patinawas applied to the ancient bronze sculptures unearthed and restoredin the 18th century.The sculptures were buried by Vesuvious in 79AD. Herculaneum Black works best for outdoor sculptures where there is plenty of natural light. If kept indoors, proper lighting canbring out the finesse of the sculpture.
This patina can be seen on many ancient statutes and sculptures where it had developed naturally. However, Pompeii Green can be applied artificially to give an ancient look to a sculpture. The green patina is applied uniformly on the sculpture, as creating blotches and streaks can easily make a sculpturelook fake.This patinais theperfect choice if you wish to give your sculpture an antiqueappearance.
A Combination of Colours
Mostly, patina of a single colouris applied to a bronze sculpture. However, subtle mix of colours can give anexceptionallook. However, having different coloured patinas on a sculpture is very difficult to achieve. It requires a talented artist to achieve the subtlety. Due to this, patina is mostly applied uniformly of a single colour.
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