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Etruscan Culture

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Author Topic: Etruscan Culture  (Read 2271 times)
Veronica Poe
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« on: February 15, 2007, 01:23:43 am »

The above image shows part of the antefix from the temple of Juno Sospita, Lanuvium (6th - 5th Century BCE). This is part of the terracotta antefix at the temple of Juno Sospita, and depicts a maenad, Many similar examples have been found, in many cases with traces of the original polychrome decoration. The characteristic smile is shared by many statues of the contemporaneous Greek Archaic period.

Etruscan Art has been said by some 19th and even 20th Century writers to be somehow inferior, although this was usually by erroneous comparison to the Greek mathematical ideals of beauty. Nowadays we can appreciate Etruscan Art much more readily, since Etruscan Artists seem to capture the feeling and the essence of so many of their subjects so much better than for example art of the highly stylised Classical period.

The styles of Etruscan Art vary considerably between the individual Etruscan cities, and there was also significant variation on style depending on the period - so much so that we can date Etruscan art works in many cases by comparison with other examples. The interest in Etruscan Art grew during the renaissance, at which time the extant Etruscan art had considerable stylistic influences on the emerging artists of the renaissance, many of whom lived in former Etruscan cities where such art was plentiful. By the nineteenth century, Etruscan art had grown to a passion, and the "excavation" of Etruscan tombs to meet growing demands increased. An example of this is the brother of Napolean, who owned land near Canino, which included the Etruscan necropolis of Vulci. These "resources" he exploited to great effect, destroying many pieces of Etruscan art in the process, and covering in the tombs with soil afterwards. As a result of this and many other examples, we now have thousands of pieces of Etruscan Art whose provenance is unknown, and which are still in private collections , or have been donated to museums in Europe and the Unted States.

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