Abstract: Etruscan Faces: From the Symbolic to the Real

Lecturer: Alexandra Carpino

The art of portraiture represents one of the Etruscans’ most original and important contributions to western culture.  Beginning in the seventh century B.C.E., representations of both anonymous and named men and women were crafted in variety of materials and styles, and placed in either funerary or religious contexts.  By concentrating on the heads and chests of their subjects rather than on their body as a whole, Etruscan artists emphasized both physical differences and social identity, along with age and, sometimes, states of health.  Thus, their likenesses became highly personalized, and a genre of art not previously articulated in the Classical world, was born.  


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Prag, A. J. N. W. 2002. “Seianti and Etruscan Portraiture.” In Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa:  The story of an Etruscan Noblewoman, edited by J. Swaddling and J. Prag, 59-66.   London:  The British Museum.

Small, J. P.  2008. "Looking at Etruscan Art in the Meadows Museum.” In From the Temple and the Tomb:  Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany, edited by P.W. Warden, 40-65.   Dallas:  Meadows Museum, SMU.

Steiner, A. 2008. “The Etruscans and the Greeks.” In From the Temple and the Tomb:  Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany, edited by P. G. Warden, 142-163.  Dallas:  Meadows Museum, SMU.   

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Theodore Burgh is with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and holds his degrees from the University of Arizona (Ph.D.), Howard University, and Hampton University.  His research... Read More

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