|Sarcophagus of the Spouses|
|Year||late sixth century BC|
|Dimensions||1.14 m× 1.9 m(3.7 ft× 6.2 ft)|
|Location||National Etruscan Museum, Rome|
The Sarcophagus of the Spouses (Italian : Sarcofago degli Sposi) is considered one of the great masterpieces of Etruscan art. It is a late sixth-century BC Etruscan anthropoid sarcophagus from Caere, and is in the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, Rome. It is 1.14 m high by 1.9 m wide, and is made of terracotta which was once brightly painted. It depicts a married couple reclining at a banquet together in the afterlife, and was found in 19th-century excavations at the necropolis of Cerveteri (ancient Caere). The portrayal of a married couple sharing a banqueting couch is distinctly an Etruscan style; in contrast, Greek vases depicting banquet scenes reflect the custom that only men attended dinner parties.
The smiling faces with their almond-shaped eyes and long, braided hair, as well as the shape of the feet of the bed, reveal Greek influence. However, the marked contrast between the high-relief busts and the very flattened legs is typically Etruscan. "The Etruscan artist's interest focused on the upper half of the figures, especially on the vibrant faces and gesticulating arms."
A similar sarcophagus, also from Cerveteri and often called the Sarcophagus of the Spouses, is in the Louvre in Paris (Cp 5194). Other Etruscan sarcophagus covers show couples, but these are the best known.
Etruscan culture practiced cremation, so the tomb housed ashes rather than body remains. Unlike in the Greek world, where banquets were reserved for men, the Etruscan woman, who held an important place in society, is represented here at her husband's side, in the same proportions and in a similar pose.They are both smiling and expressing affection, which contrasts Greek art. Because this is a funerary piece, it could mean a positive attitude towards life and death. She is in the process of pouring perfume into his hand, she is making the gesture of offering perfume, another essential component of funerary ritual. In her left hand, she is holding a small, round object, possibly a pomegranate, a symbol of immortality.
In Etruscan mythology, Charun acted as one of the psychopompoi of the underworld. He is often portrayed with Vanth, a winged figure also associated with the underworld.
Ancient art refers to the many types of art produced by the advanced cultures of ancient societies with some form of writing, such as those of ancient China, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The art of pre-literate societies is normally referred to as Prehistoric art and is not covered here. Although some Pre-Columbian cultures developed writing during the centuries before the arrival of Europeans, on grounds of dating these are covered at Pre-Columbian art, and articles such as Maya art and Aztec art. Olmec art is mentioned below.
The relatively small limestone Cretan sculpture called the Lady of Auxerre, , at the Louvre Museum in Paris depicts an archaic Greek goddess of c. 650 - 625 BCE. It is a Kore ("maiden"), perhaps a votary rather than the maiden Goddess Persephone herself, for her right hand touches her solar plexus and her left remains stiffly at her side. It is also possible that the Kore is a depiction of a deceased individual, possibly in a position of prayer.
In ancient Greece, the symposium was a part of a banquet that took place after the meal, when drinking for pleasure was accompanied by music, dancing, recitals, or conversation. Literary works that describe or take place at a symposium include two Socratic dialogues, Plato's Symposium and Xenophon's Symposium, as well as a number of Greek poems such as the elegies of Theognis of Megara. Symposia are depicted in Greek and Etruscan art that shows similar scenes.
Cerveteri is a town and comune of northern Lazio in the region of the Metropolitan City of Rome. Known by the ancient Romans as Caere, and previously by the Etruscans as Caisra or Cisra, and as Agylla by the Greeks, its modern name derives from Caere Vetus used in the 13th century to distinguish it from Caere Novum.
Caere is the Latin name given by the Romans to one of the larger cities of southern Etruria, the modern Cerveteri, approximately 50-60 kilometres north-northwest of Rome. To the Etruscans it was known as Cisra, to the Greeks as Agylla and to the Phoenicians as Kyšryʼ.
The study of Roman sculpture is complicated by its relation to Greek sculpture. Many examples of even the most famous Greek sculptures, such as the Apollo Belvedere and Barberini Faun, are known only from Roman Imperial or Hellenistic "copies". At one time, this imitation was taken by art historians as indicating a narrowness of the Roman artistic imagination, but, in the late 20th century, Roman art began to be reevaluated on its own terms: some impressions of the nature of Greek sculpture may in fact be based on Roman artistry.
The Tomb of the Roaring Lions is an archaeological site at the ancient city of Veii, Italy. It is best known for its well-preserved fresco paintings of four feline-like creatures, believed by archaeologists to depict lions. The tomb is believed to be one of the oldest painted tombs in the western Mediterranean, dating back to 690 BCE. The discovery of the Tomb allowed archaeologists a greater insight into funerary practices amongst the Etruscan people, while providing insight into art movements around this period of time. The fresco paintings on the wall of the tomb are a product of advances in trade that allowed artists in Veii to be exposed to art making practices and styles of drawing originating from different cultures, in particular geometric art movements in Greece. The lions were originally assumed to be caricatures of lions – created by artists who had most likely never seen the real animal in flesh before.
Bucchero is a class of ceramics produced in central Italy by the region's pre-Roman Etruscan population. This Italian word is derived from the Latin poculum, a drinking-vessel, perhaps through the Spanish búcaro, or the Portuguese púcaro.
Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.
The National Archaeological Museum of Florence is an archaeological museum in Florence, Italy. It is located at 1 piazza Santissima Annunziata, in the Palazzo della Crocetta.
A necropolis is a large, designed cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments. The name stems from the Ancient Greek νεκρόπολις nekropolis, literally meaning "city of the dead".
In the burial practices of ancient Rome and Roman funerary art, marble and limestone sarcophagi elaborately carved in relief were characteristic of elite inhumation burials from the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD. At least 10,000 Roman sarcophagi have survived, with fragments possibly representing as many as 20,000. Although mythological scenes have been quite widely studied, sarcophagus relief has been called the "richest single source of Roman iconography," and may also depict the deceased's occupation or life course, military scenes, and other subject matter. The same workshops produced sarcophagi with Jewish or Christian imagery. Early Christian sarcophagi produced from the late 3rd century onwards, represent the earliest form of large Christian sculpture, and are important for the study of Early Christian art.
The Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus or "Great" Ludovisi sarcophagus is an ancient Roman sarcophagus dating to around AD 250–260, found in 1621 in the Vigna Bernusconi, a tomb near the Porta Tiburtina. It is also known as the Via Tiburtina Sarcophagus, though other sarcophagi have been found there. It is known for its densely populated, anti-classical composition of "writhing and highly emotive" Romans and Goths, and is an example of the battle scenes favored in Roman art during the Crisis of the Third Century. Discovered in 1621 and named for its first modern owner, Ludovico Ludovisi, the sarcophagus is now displayed at the Palazzo Altemps in Rome, part of the National Museum of Rome as of 1901.
The Tomb of the Leopards is an Etruscan burial chamber so called for the confronted leopards painted above a banquet scene. The tomb is located within the Necropolis of Monterozzi and dates to around 480–450 BC. The painting is one of the best-preserved murals of Tarquinia, and is known for "its lively coloring, and its animated depictions rich with gestures."
The Regolini-Galassi tomb is one of the richest Etruscan family tombs in Caere, an ancient city in Italy approximately 50–60 kilometres (31–37 mi) north-northwest of Rome. It dates to between 650 and 600 BC, probably 640s BC. It was built by a wealthy family and stocked with bronze cauldrons and gold jewellery of Etruscan origin in Oriental style. The tomb was discovered in 1836 in modern-day Cerveteri in an undisturbed condition and named after the excavators, general Vincenzo Galassi and the archpriest of Cerveteri, Alessandro Regolini.
The Tomb of Hunting and Fishing, formerly known as the Tomb of the Hunter, is an Etruscan tomb in the Necropolis of Monterozzi near Tarquinia, Italy. It was discovered in 1873 and has been dated variously to about 530–520 BC, 520 BC, 510 BC or 510–500 BC. Stephan Steingräber calls it "unquestionably one of the most beautiful and original of the Tarquinian tombs from the Late Archaic period." R. Ross Holloway emphasizes the reduction of humans to small figures in a large natural environment. There were no precedents for this in Ancient Greek art or in the Etruscan art it influenced. It was a major development in the history of ancient painting.
The Sarcophagus of Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa is the life-size sarcophagus of an Etruscan noblewoman dating from between 150–140 BC. Since 1887, it has been part of the British Museum's collection.
The Boscoreale Treasure is the name for a large collection of exquisite silver and gold Roman objects discovered in the ruins of the ancient Villa della Pisanella at Boscoreale, near Pompeii, southern Italy. Consisting of over a hundred pieces of silverware, as well as gold coins and jewellery, it is now mostly kept at the Louvre Museum in Paris, although parts of the treasure can also be found at the British Museum.
Carved amber bow of a fibula, also known as the Morgan Amber, is a 5th-century BCE Etruscan fibula by an unknown artist. It is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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