A highly contentious debate raged in European art circles in the nineteenth century over the colouring, or lack thereof, of antique statuary. Given that ancient treasures had been discovered without their original pigments, many people since the Enlightenment extolled the virtues of what they considered antiquity’s mastery of form. However, others came to acknowledge that in ancient Greece, and not just in the Far East and Egypt, temples and statues had been multicoloured. César Isidore Henry Cros was inevitably caught up in this new thinking. As a bold experimenter in tune with his century and its love of technology and history, he set out to investigate the secrets of ancient encaustic painting. This is one of the few works he made in painted terracotta, and it was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1883 as The Scottish Girl.