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The Etruscans


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Brief overview of Roman predecessors, The Etruscans, and their art and architecture

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The Etruscans

  1. 1. The Etruscans 700-509 BCE
  2. 2. The Etruscans (700-509 BCE) Dates and Places: •  Eighth to fourth century BCE •  Northern and central Italy People: •  Independent kingdoms •  Polytheistic •  Fishermen, traders Map of Etruscan population
  3. 3. The Etruscans Themes: •  Temples •  Gods and humans •  Funerary goods •  Animals Forms: •  Lifelike, painted sculpture •  Wood, sun-dried brick and terracotta construction Apulu, ca. 510-500BCE. Terra cotta, 5 10. Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia, Rome
  4. 4. The Etruscans Reconstruction of an Etruscan temple after Vitruvius, sixth century BCE. Example: •  What we know of Etruscan architecture comes from notes Vitruvius (Roman architect 80 BCE-15 BCE) •  Vitruvius studied the remains of Etruscan temples –  Specifically their foundations
  5. 5. The Etruscans Typical Etruscan temple plan after Vitruvius, sixth century BCE. Example: •  Unlike the Greeks who worshipped their gods near temples, the Etruscans worshipped their gods/ goddesses in nature •  Temple plan similar to Greeks with distinct differences •  Ritual spaces created in groves
  6. 6. The Etruscans Example: •  Unlike Greeks, Etruscans place sculpture atop roof •  Apulu of Veii most famos and best preserved of Etruscan temple sculpture •  Lack of records limits understanding of aesthetic Apulu, ca. 510-500BCE. Terra cotta, 5 10. Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia, Rome
  7. 7. The Etruscans Example: •  Etruscans buried dead outside main cities in the necropolis, or city of the dead •  Much like city with roads through complex around which tombs are organized •  Tombs took form of tumulus, around structure containing one or more tomb chambers covered by earth •  Like Egyptians, the Etruscans buried their dead with goods for the afterlife •  Tombs provide evidence shows some belief in after Necropolis at Ceveteri
  8. 8. The Etruscan Example: •  Tomb cut out of tufa •  Decorated like Egyptian rock cut tombs •  Decorations made out of stucco •  Reliefs provide inventory of household items: pots, pans, swords, axes, and rope •  Decorations to provide necessities and entertainment for afterlife •  Terracotta sarcophagi found in tumuli Tomb of Reliefs, Ceveteri, 3rd cent. BCE
  9. 9. The Etruscans Example: •  Etruscans develop new funerary iconography •  Sarcophagus for wealth individual •  Made to contain cremated remains, not body •  Married couple, family unit important element of Etruscan society Sarcophagus of the Spouses, from Cerveteri, c. 520 BCE. Painted terra cotta, 6 7. Musée du Louvre •  Wife and husband given equal status •  Covering offers clue to married state •  Bodies stop at waist •  Bodies, drapery, almond eyes indicate contact with Greek Ionia •  Figures rendered with Archaic features: long, stylized hair, Archaic-type smile, raised cheekbones corresponding with raised eyes; cap for woman, split hair for man
  10. 10. The Etruscans Example: •  Necropolis with tumulus carved from tufa •  Contains reliefs or mural paintings –  Geometric patterning on ceiling joins figures •  Banqueting couples suggest possible festivities to remember dead •  Exaggerated gestures •  Gender conventions maintained •  Leopards guard tomb from evil Interior of the Tomb of the Leopards, 480-470BCE.
  11. 11. The Etruscans Example: •  Influence of Egyptian and Aegean painting evident •  Stylized landscape •  Boots demonstrate Greek Ionian influence •  Little indication of depth •  Traditional stylized gesture of mourners •  Possibly guarding door to the afterlife, more likely entrance to funerary tent Mourners at the Door to the Other World, Interior of the Tomb of the Augurs, Tarquinia, 510BCE. Fresco.
  12. 12. The Etruscans •  Pliny tells us usually placed atop column as memorial •  Becomes model for political figures and leaders Example: •  Evidence Etruscan artist working in Roman Republic commissioned by Republican patron •  Name of official inscribed on hem of toga •  Roman versim •  Toga and laced-leather boots indicate social status Aulus Metellus (Orator), c.100 BCE. Bronze, 7 1 . National Archaeological Museum, Florence.