Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Etruscan Sculpture

Back when I was a impressionable youth,
my father took me to the
Cincinnati Art Museum
and declared that their
was the best sculpture in their collection.

on my last trip there,
I couldn't get a good photo
through the reflective glass case
and the piece
can't be found on the museum's website

And, to my surprise,
there wasn't much on the Internet either,
or even in the art books
at the Ryerson Library

But whatever I find
will be added to this post.

None of them seem as good
as the one I remember
seeing when I was 12,
but that could just be
the nature of my memory

most of the ones I'm finding now
appear to be from a later
less anorexic style,
which is good too,
but not quite as exciting

I feel kind of bad
for the old Etruscans.

They seem like an elegant
and gentle people.

As the Roman historian, Livy, tells us
every Spring a Roman army
would march north to do battle,
and after a few generations of this,
Etruria finally succumbed.

this is one of my favorite pieces
from the books,
and I think this book
was in my parents' collection.

Etruscan sculpture was a big deal
in the modern art world of the early 20th C.
(that's why there was such a good market
for forgeries - which fills the first few pages
of a Google search)

But today,
that enthusiasm has waned.

(BTW - the above piece is #1 for me,
not at all hurt by the background
cleverly placed behind it)

The Art Institute of Chicago doesn't have
any Etruscan bronze warriors,
but it does have this wonderful terracotta.

What a great action scene!
(and perfect composition)


Blogger AJS said...

The Etruscan works also feature a beautiful gender equality - men and women side by side, happy (sarcophagi in particular). This seems to vanish with Greece, Rome...

January 29, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Do you have a date for the chap with a bowl? I am interested in finding the right hair do for a 2nd c Greek youth!

February 01, 2009  
Blogger chris miller said...

I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere, Robert. Etruria was gone by the 2nd C. -- and it wasn't Greek anyway.

February 01, 2009  
Anonymous marly said...


I expect you will never find anything quite like what your father promised you was the best, not after the years have rubbed the image and added their patina.

Hey Robert--

See if you can find this in your library: Richard Corson's "Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years" (London, England: Peter Owen, 2001). I know later hair was often curled with a bronze tube (did they heat it, I wonder?) and shorter, but I don't know about that time.

February 01, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

I just hoped it might fit, quite easy to do, thanks Marly.

February 02, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you happen to have the names and dates of the artworks? I am doing an art project, and love the sculptures, but I need the neccisary info.

October 20, 2009  
Blogger chris miller said...

Go to and look up books about etruscan sculpture -- then have your local library order two.
You'll get all the information you need.

October 20, 2009  

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