Etruscan Funeral Statue

Etruscan Funeral Statue

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3D Image

Funeral statue of a noble etruscan, painted terra cota, 530 BCE. Made with Memento Beta (now ReMake) from AutoDesk.

The Etruscans were skilled at fashioning sculptures in clay, which was painted in bright colours. The statue of a distinguished Etruscan in a white toga with purple border may have been placed in a tomb pouring libation to a god in the underworld.

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Jim holroyd 365

The final city on our tour of Italy was Florence. The heart of Tuscany and the cradle of the Renaissance. The Duomo is the city’s iconic landmark and one of the Italian “Big Three, the others being the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So our first destination was Il Duomo (or Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore).

Facade of Il Duomo with St John’s Baptistry to the left

Unike the ornate churches in Rome, the interior of Il Duomo is relatively bare, the relative bareness of the church corresponds with the austerity of religious life, as preached by Girolamo Savonarola.

There is an impressive patterned marble floor and the interior of the dome is decorated with an impressive fresco, started by Giorgio Vasari and finished by Federico Zuccari and a number of collaborators in the mid 16th Century.

The lines to scale the dome were long and I didn’t fancy clambering up 463 steep stone steps, so after the Duomo we headed to the Archaeological Museum. The Museum houses an impressive Egyptian collection and also many artefacts from Greek, Roman and Etruscan civilisations.

We also visited the garden of the museum, which shows tombs and burial mounds of ancient times. The Etruscan tomb, looked a little like a hobbit house.

Etruscan Tomb in the garden

When the museum was created in the late 19th century, its director felt that it would be incomplete without the actual tombs from which many Etruscan objects were removed, so he had a few of these dismantled and put back together right there in the garden of the museum. We were able to see the great variety of funeral monuments used by the Etruscans. There are tumulus, chamber, and “dado” tombs. The garden is open for visits only on Saturday mornings (and only if it is not raining), but if you can get in, it’s worth the price of admission (4 euro).

We then wandered to the Piazza della Signora with the Uffizi Gallery and a copy of the statue of David, the actual statue by Michelangelo is in The Galleria dell’ Academia. For us the copy would suffice.

Eating at one of the restaurants, on any of the principle piazzas of Florence, was going to be expensive, but we ventured into one, negotiated not to pay the 4 Euro cover charge and tried the Tuscan speciality soup called Ribollita (a thick vegetable, bread and bean dish) in a fancy restaurant on the Piazza della Republica.

The soup was very tasty, even if the price of 18 Euro was a little hard to swallow. After eating, we strolled around Florence marvelling at the medieval architecture, we finally slumped footsore in the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, where we watched the world go by and listened to a guitarist singing some popular pop covers.

Apollo of Veii

Owing to the widespread anonymity that characterizes ancient artistic production, few individual artists can be easily identified. The &ldquoMaster of Apollo,&rdquo for example, is an artist whose name remains unknown. Scholars have nevertheless been able to recognize him on the basis of his exceptional artistic skills and to associate him with a school.

Texts have been elaborated to be read by different public (What does that mean?)

We are standing in front of a large terracotta statue which retains much of its original color, as seen in the contrasting brown of the skin and white of the clothes, which are also trimmed in black. Indeed, even if we are not accustomed to imagining it, ancient works of art were originally vividly colored.

This is the god Apollo represented with that particular grin known as the archaic smile, which serves to accentuate the expression of the face. He walks decisively to the left. What is he preparing to do? Is he trying to reach somebody?

Barefoot the god advances with left arm menacingly outstretched and the other lowered, perhaps because he held a bow. In order to understand his pose, it is necessary to look at the Apollo in relation to the statue in front of him.

The latter represents Heracles who has just captured the golden-horned hind sacred to Artemis. This is one of the twelve labors which the hero had to accomplish in order to atone for having killed his wife and children in a fit of madness. This explains the rage of the god Apollo, who is preparing to fight Heracles and free the hind sacred to his sister.

In addition to Apollo and Heracles, Artemis, the goddess from whom the hind had been stolen, and Mercury, represented as the peacemaker, played integral roles in the same mythological scene. The head of Mercury is on display in the same room.

These and other statues &ndash among which Leto with the infant Apollo in her arms stands out &ndash were intended to decorate the top of the roof (columen) of the temple in the Portonaccio sanctuary at Veii. The temple was dedicated to the Etruscan goddess Menerva (the Greek Athena) and dates to the end of the 6th century BCE.

The terracotta figural decoration of this temple is exceptional among other examples from the ancient world for its richness and quality.

In May 1916, the statue of Apollo, along with fragments of other statues, was found in a votive deposit broken into several pieces. These were carefully arranged in alignment with an embankment, as attested by an archive photo, suggesting the reverence afforded the statue by those who decided to bury it.

The Portonaccio statues have been attributed to the &ldquoMaster of Apollo,&rdquo an artist from Veii who belonged to the last generation of clay sculptors (coroplasts) working in the circle of the famous craftsman named Vulca. Ancient sources mention the latter as the creator of the celebrated statue of Jupiter commissioned by the first Etruscan king, Tarquinius Priscus, and dedicated in the temple sacred to the Capitoline triad (ca. 580 BCE) on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.

Shortly after the creation of the Portonaccio statues, the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, commissioned two (?) quadrigas to decorate the roof of the Capitolium from the Veientine workshop of the &ldquoMaster of Apollo.&rdquo

Lion Statue And Etruscan Tomb Discovered At Cerveteri

Recent excavations at the necropolis of Banditaccia in Cerveteri have unearthed a statue of a lion and an Etruscan tomb.

Italian newspaper ‘Il Messaggero’ reports that a team of archaeologists has uncovered a masterpiece of Etruscan art in the form of the Leone di Cerveteri (Cerveteri Lion). The statue of a crouching lion is made from volcanic tuff and dates to the 6th century BC. The piece is said to be in perfect condition, showing taut muscles and well-defined legs.

The Cerveteri Lion is the first entire lion statue found at the site. It was found at the foot of what experts describe as an altar for funeral rites and was the “guardian” of an extraordinary tomb discovered only a few yards away.

The newly discovered tomb is in the form of an underground rectangular chamber accessed by a monumental staircase. The chamber dates from the 4th to 3rd century BC. The chamber contained some 20 skeletons, of which seven are well preserved.

The tomb also contained 10 stones complete with inscriptions, along with a treasure trove of ceramic and bronze funereal objects. The main burial area belonged to an adult woman and contained the remains of wicker baskets, along with fragments of wool and flax. Experts believe the tomb belonged to a noble family and that the woman was a prestigious figure in her clan.

The Etruscans lived in west-central Italy from the 9th century BC onwards and Etruscan culture reached its height in the 6th century BC. The Cerveteri necropolis in Lazio, Rome developed from the 9th century BC. It contains thousands of tombs that replicate Etruscan town-planning schemes, with streets, squares and neighbourhoods. The tombs vary in kind according to when they were built and family status. Some are tumuli, some trenches cut in rock and other form the shape of houses.

10 Unintentionally Horrifying Statues of Famous People

Having a statue erected in your likeness sounds like it would be an honor. But when the end result leaves you looking terrifying for all eternity, it's worth considering that sometimes it's not the thought that counts. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo learned that lesson the hard way back in March when a bust made in his not-so-likeness was unveiled at Madeira International Airport, to celebrate the airport's new name: Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo. Fortunately for Ronaldo, a new and improved bust was just revealed:

About time someone made a proper Cristiano bust .

— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cr7Prince4ever) November 26, 2017

Not every celebrity has been so lucky.


This statue in the beloved comedian's hometown became a source of rancor when it was first erected in 2009. "Scary Lucy," as she quickly became known, even inspired an online campaign "We Love Lucy! Get Rid of this Statue." As it turns out, everyone thought the statue was an abomination—even the man responsible. In 2015, artist Dave Poulin issued a public apology saying, "I take full responsibility for 'Scary Lucy,' though by no means was that my intent or did I wish to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image." Earlier this year, tired of the ongoing conversation about "Scary Lucy," Poulin retired from sculpting altogether. His public admission that the statue really was awful paid off. In 2016, a new statue—this one created by Carolyn Palmer, who beat out more than 65 sculptors in a national competition to create the upgraded Lucy—was unveiled.


This statue was revealed in Aberdeen for Kurt Cobain Day and is getting a lot of criticism. [email protected]

— INDIE88 (@Indie88Toronto) February 22, 2014

In Kurt Cobain's hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, the late singer's February 20th birthday is "Kurt Cobain Day." As part of the initial festivities, the town unveiled this somber statue of the singer, which notably features a single tear. Artist Randi Hubbard began work on the sculpture shortly after Cobain's death in 1994. Sometime in the past two decades, she'd offered the work to the city who, at the time, refused. Their conviction has since wavered.


rvaphotodude, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

In 1996, Arthur Ashe's hometown of Richmond erected a statue in his likeness on Monument Avenue, despite controversy that a sculpture of the tennis great didn't belong alongside the existing congregation of Confederate icons. But the bronze memorial, cast by Paul di Pasquale, is bizarre for more than just its location. In an attempt to capture Ashe's dedication to social activism, he is shown holding books and a tennis racket high above the outstretched arms of a gaggle of children, frozen forever in a state of seemingly mocking them for their lack of height.


Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

James Dean himself commissioned the bust that stands as his memorial at the site of several key scenes from Rebel Without a Cause. But perhaps because artist Kenneth Kendall began work the night Dean died, the actor ended up looking downtrodden. In 1988—33 years after Dean's death—Kendall donated the sculpture to the Griffith Observatory.


Wally Gobetz, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0

"It just doesn't work," Walter Johnson's grandson and biographer, Henry Thomas, said of the attempt to show motion in his grandfather's statue. The multi-armed likeness of the late Hall of Fame pitcher, the work of sculptor Omri Amrany, was erected outside Nationals Park in 2009.


Drinks Machine, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0

In a sculpture by Maggi Hambling, the bust of the brilliant Irish author rises out of a sarcophagus-style block. As if that wasn't creepy enough, his mangled bronze features actually look like something that has risen from the dead.


carolyn_gifford, Flickr // CC BY NC-2.0

The oldest statue on this list was cast by Marco d'Agrate in 1562 to honor the only saint to have been skinned alive. And if you're an artist, how could you pass up a graphic opportunity like that? The statue of St. Bartholomew presiding over the Milan Cathedral is not only skinless, he is literally carrying his own skin, identifiable by the face and feet on either end.


In the Jewish Quarter of Prague, where Franz Kafka spent most of his life, a sculpture by Jaroslav Rona stands as a memorial to the influential author—or to giant, headless, handless, well-dressed men everywhere. A miniature Kafka sits perched on the shoulders of an ominous empty suit that looks to be lumbering toward the viewer.


A escultura cómica de David Cerny.
Rei Wenceslas num cavalo morto e pendurado em #Praga.

— Rui Goulart (@GoulartEscultor) August 31, 2015

In Wenceslas Square, a statue of the eponymous patron saint of Bohemia is shown, in typical form, atop a gallant steed. Inside Lucerna Palace mere yards from the original, a parody of this statue by David Černý also depicts Saint Wenceslas and a horse. Only this time the horse is upside down—and dead. If the juxtaposition doesn't freak you out, the lolling horse tongue will.


Ian Walton/Getty Images

This slightly smirking, colorful rendition of the late King of Pop was actually deemed so creepy—and controversial—that it was removed in 2013. The former owner and chairman of the Fulham football team, Mohamed Fayed, commissioned the statue, which stood outside the Craven Cottage stadium from 2011 through late 2013 when new owner, American businessman Shahid Khan, heeded the public opinion and had the statue removed and returned to Fayed.

Burial Statues: An Army of Wooden Afterlife Warriors

When new coffins are discovered they are immediately transferred to controlled laboratories where teams of scientists study the remains. X‐rays of the mummies allow close analysis of ancient skeletal structures, which hold clues as to how they have been preserved. After these new mummies were tested they were exhibited briefly at the base of the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser.

Khaled el-Anan said the mummies would ultimately be moved to at least three Cairo museums, including the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) that is currently being built near the famed Giza Pyramids. GEM is currently one of the largest museum development projects in the world and is a direct response to the global fascination with ancient pharaonic and Egyptian history.

Arab News say the 100 coffins were found “in three burial shafts at depths of 12 meters (40 feet)” and that one coffin contained a mummy that had been “wrapped in a burial shroud adorned with brightly colored hieroglyphic pictorials.” The highly-ornate, colorful and gilded wooden burial statues, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ Facebook page, are “unique” and depict scenes and figures from Egyptian mythology . It is thought that they had been placed in the shafts along with the deceased “to help them in the afterlife.”

Burial statues and sarcophagi from the Saqqara necropolis. ( Youm7)

AP Art History

The Etruscans seemed to most closely resemble Greece during the Hellenistic era, but greatly differed from it during the earlier periods. In the Etruscan tombs, are painted lively colorful scenes of daily life. For example, the Tomb of Hunting and Fishing at Tarquina features scenes of a relaxed husband and wife accompanied by their servant, a young man aiming at a flock of birds with his slingshot, and a sea with jumping dolphins and a boat full of fisherman. The Tomb of the Lioness depicts and man and woman dancing, musicians, and two giant cats at the peak of the wall near the colorfully checkered ceiling. It seems that the Etruscans liked to paint daily life, or perhaps happy memories for the dead to experience. In contrast, early Greek art in the Archaic and Classical eras seemed to be exclusively of noble subjects. For example, the statue Apollo from the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, of 470-456 BCE, or Dying Warrior from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, Greece, of 490 BCE. Both these statues are of subjects much more important than the average human being. The Dying Warrior is nobly sacrificing himself for his country, and Apollo, the sun god, is attempting to bring order to the chaos around him between the Lapiths and the centaurs. Both of these statues are of important events in Greek history. In contrast, the Etruscan tombs are purely for enjoyment and to comfort the dead, they are not meant to honor an important figure in society, as is the case with early Greek art. One similarity, however, is the use of symbolism. In the Etruscan Tomb of the Lioness, a man reclines (presumably the deceased), watching the dancers around him. In his hand he holds an egg, and this is the Etruscan symbol of the continuity of life. In 438 BCE in the cella of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, the Athena Parthenos holds a tiny statue of Nike in her extended right hand. This is meant to symbolize the victory of the Athenians over the Persians. This use of symbolism in both cultures reveals their similar value of the abstract, and how it can be used to convey meaning. This shows that although the Grecian and Etruscan choice of subject for their art may be completely different, how they present this subject is somewhat similar.

In the Hellenistic era of Greece, the subjects of art start to become more similar to the Etruscans. For example, the Old Market Woman depicts an everyday human going about her business. What sets this apart from the Etruscans, is that this depiction of daily life is much more brutal and negative than the Etruscan depiction. This woman is worn and haggard, with a beaten down and miserable expression on her face. The Etruscan tombs show lively activity and colorful scenery. It seems, based on what each society chooses to represent in their art, that the Greeks use art as an avenue to make a statement: to honor a god or important figure in society, to commemorate an event, or to show the deterioration of it&rsquos citizens. The Etruscans seem instead, to used art for enjoyment and beauty.


This undisturbed tomb of Etruscan royalty was unearthed this summer near Tarquinia in Italy. Accounts of the find have made much of the riot of pottery found on the floor, the remains of the funeral feast.

Some of the dishes still contained food analysis of this should give us our best look yet at Etruscan feasting.

But what interested me about the tomb was its structure: Side by side benches for the husband and wife.

This fits with a pattern of Etruscan burial practices, which emphasize like no others I know of the eternal bond of marriage. The famous Cerveti sarcophagus is one of several that shows a happy couple reclining on a couch together.

Moving into the classical period, we get these wonderful works of marriage art these two are now in the MFA in Boston.


Many Etruscan sites, mainly in cemeteries and shrines, have been excavated, notably in Veyes, Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Vulci and Vetulonia. Other important sites are in Caere, Chiusi and Orvieto. Numerous Etruscan tomb paintings illustrate scenes of the life, death and mythology. They use a palette dominated by warm and bright colors framed by a stroke of dark line delimiting the figure giving the feeling of that are clipped on the bottom. They address mostly issues about daily life.

Made in the technique of fresco show a great similarity with the patterns and technical conventions leading in the painting of the archaic period on all Greece mostly those made before the 4th century BCsuch as:

– Difference in the use of color in male and female figures in which the Red was used for male faces and bodies and white for the female.

– Frame the silhouette with a dark continuous line that was filled with pigments.

– Figures flat, clipped on the bottom does not seek the feeling of third dimension.

– There is no intension of expression of movement.

– There is no concern to represent volume.

– Figures although they represent the body’s front show the head turn to the side. (Frontality).

Of the hundreds of graves found in Tarquinia around some 60 have paintings that give name to the Tomb. The fresco painting found in them is linear, following much Greek art models as previously mentioned. People profile, but with the front body is represented, although there are also some of these paintings depicting figures displaying complete profiles with anatomical treatment.

In the 6th and V BCmain topics covered in the painting as found in these funerary monuments are:

– Predilection for the realistic scenes that were related to the daily events in their lives. Example: Tomb of hunting and fishing. Tarquinia.

– Illustration of funeral rites which includes banquets, dance and music. This issue is regularly represented at many of these tombs during the 5th century BC example of these issues are in the tomb of the Augurs. Tarquinia.

– The theme of the world beyond the grave. The Etruscans professed tribute to their dead in a particular way to represent them in his paintings full of life appreciating the good things of life and in their moments of well-being and wealth.

– The stories of heroes and mythological gods in the painting was in correspondence with the religious fervor of polytheistic concept (worship multiple gods and minor deities) so this topic provide great examples found in the tombs of ORCO II. Tarquinia.

– The dead are represented with their appropriate funerary inscriptions that also identified them.

Major changes in the Etruscan pictorial realization are produced around the IV century BCand among them we can mention:

  • In the 4th century is added the use of other shades and colors as blue in the Etruscan painting.
  • The figures dominate the drawing on smooth bottoms.
  • Natural elements like plants and flowers are profusely used in scenes that represent exteriors.
  • Concern to represent volume, third dimension and movement.

Other pictorial manifestations mainly related to the decoration of buildings such as temples were painted with Terra-cotta plates that covered the walls and columns of these buildings.

We will detail more about this in the post relating specifically to the Etruscan architecture.

Bust (n.1)

1690s, "sculpture of upper torso and head," from French buste (16c.), from Italian busto "upper body," from Latin bustum "funeral monument, tomb," originally "funeral pyre, place where corpses are burned," perhaps shortened from ambustum , neuter of ambustus "burned around," past participle of amburere "burn around, scorch," from ambi- "around" + urere "to burn." Or perhaps from Old Latin boro , the early form of classical Latin uro "to burn." The sense development in Italian probably is from the Etruscan custom of keeping the ashes of the dead in an urn shaped like the person when alive.

From 1727 as "trunk of the human body above the waist." Meaning "bosom, measurement around a woman's body at the level of her breasts" is by 1884.

variant of burst (n.), 1764, American English. For loss of -r- , compare ass (n.2). Originally "frolic, spree" sense of "sudden failure" is from 1842. Meaning "police raid or arrest" is from 1938. Phrase ______ or bust as an emphatic expression attested by 1851 in British depictions of Western U.S. dialect. Probably from earlier expression bust (one's) boiler , by late 1840s, a reference to steamboat boilers exploding when driven too hard.

"to burst," 1806, variant of burst (v.) for loss of -r- , compare ass (n.2). Meaning "go bankrupt" is from 1834. Meaning "break (into)" is from 1859. The slang meaning "demote" (especially in a military sense) is from 1918 that of "place under arrest" is from 1953 (earlier "to raid" from Prohibition). In card games, "to go over a score of 21," from 1939. Related: Busted busting .

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