The word is popularly used to describe the grime, discolouration, and weathering of antiques. In sculpture, it is more accurately referring to a film of incrustation. It is usually the green surface which forms on copper and bronze as a result of oxidation naturally.

A fine patina is generally considered to enhance the aesthetic value of Antique bronze sculpture. Therefore, artists induce the same effects on newly cast bronzes in order to replicate the green, brown and sometimes red-bluish patinas.

The whole end result may be called patina, but may also be called aerugo or verdigris.

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