Museo Gregoriano Etrusco I


The Etruscan Museum was founded in 1837, during the pontificate of Gregorio XVI. It comprises nine rooms (sale) and presents artifacts excavated from Etruria (1828-1837) and Lazio:
  • Sala I - Four sarcophagi, funeral stones and architectonic fragments,
  • Sala II - Artifacts from the famous Regolini-Gallasso tomb in the Cerveteri necropolis,
  • Sala III - Collections of bronze and gold artifacts, candelabria, rings; it includes the Mars of Todi statue,
  • Sala IV - Terracotta artifacts and funeral urns,
  • Sala Guglielmi - Artifacts excavated from the Vulci necropolis,
  • Sale V-VIII - Collections of Greek, Etruscan and Italic pottery found in the Etruscan tombs,
  • Sala dei Relievi Assiri - Reliefs and inscriptions with cuneiform characters refering to Assyrian kings from the 9th to 3rd centuries B.C.

    The Regolini-Galassi Room - 163K ; medium size image - 81K ; small image - 28K.
    The exceptionally rich and almost intact Regolini-Galassi tomb was discovered in the necropolis of Cerveteri (Etruria) in 1836-37 and was acquired by the Pontifical government. The tomb is the most complete archeological collection documenting the "orientalizing" period of the Etruscan civilization (late 8th to early 6th century B.C.), which brought Etruria into closer commercial and cultural contact with the principal Mediterranean centers.
    The collection includes jewelry and small objects - 240K ; a chariot and pottery - 170K ; a nobleman's throne - 287K - and many other bronze, gold and pottery artifacts.

    Gold fibula - 200K ; small image - 15K.
    The fibula's center piece is decorated with five lions - 390K ; the two gold pieces are joined with textile material - 369K. The relief goldsmithing (165K) work is exquisite.

    Grande fibule de la tombe Regolini-Galassi
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau: or
    dimension: L=31,5cm
    numero d'inventaire:
    provenance: Cerveteri, tombe Regolini-Galassi
    datation: 670-650 avant J.C.
  • Commentaire
    La grande fibule a plaque d'une forme typique de la haute vallee du Tibre, fait partie des objets precieux fabriques en Etrurie et decores de motifs orientaux qui ont ete decouvert dans la tombe dite "Regolini-Galassi".
    Elle illustre en effet le trafic avec les cites grecques d'une part, mais aussi et surtout l'adoption d'un repertoire oriental par le commerce phenicien. C'est bien le progres general dans les techniques et dans l'iconographie qui caracterise la periode orientalisante, 700-600 av.J.C, en Etrurie.
    La maitrise de l'orfevrerie est ici parfaite dans la technique du repousse pour les lions au centre et celle de la granulation pour le manche en bas. Le repertoire phenicien est flagrant par l'emploi du motif des lions passants, a l'interieur du bandeau, et des palmettes, a l'exterieur.
    Neanmoins ces motifs sont isoles les uns des autres, voire juxtaposes, et il n'y a aucune recherche de composition. L'usage de techniques et de motifs, certes parfaitement maitrisees, mais dont la seule fonction est de remplir l'espace nous oblige a dater ce chef-d'oeuvre de l'orfevrerie etrusque du debut de l'epoque orientalisante, c'est-a-dire vers 670-650 avant J.C.
  • Bibliographie
    Bandinelli, Les Etrusques et l'Italie avant Rome, 1973, p147.

    Gilded silver bowl - 210K ; small image - 40K.
    The bowl came from the Regolini-Galassi tomb at Cerveteri. It was manufactured in the middle of 7th century B.C.; it is made of gilded silver and has a diameter of 19.4 cm and a depth of 2.5 cm.
    The bowl is divided into four principal areas: the central disk (306K), two concentric bands (314K) and a smooth rim.
    In the center, two lions attack a bull (385K) in an Egyptian setting.
    In the inner band there is a series of episodes from a hunt: an archer and a lancer aid a man fallen beneath a lion - 391K ; a horseman chases a fawn on a mountain and another man stabs a lion (385K), upright on his back paws.
    The outer band depicts a file of soldiers (369K), on foot and on horseback. The soldiers escort a man who, armed and accompanied by a squire, occupies the chariot - 337K. The bands present two symbolic elements of the life of a great Egyptian dynasty.

    Coupe en argent de la tombe Regolini-Galassi
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau: feuille d'or dore, decor au repousse
    dimension: Ht=2,5cm Diametre=19,4cm
    numero d'inventaire: 20368
    provenance: Cerveteri, tombe Regolini-Galassi
    datation: 675-650 av J.C.
  • Commentaire
    Dans le medaillon central se trouvent deux figurations de lions en train d'assaillir une figuration de taureau. Dans le bandeau qui entoure le medaillon, sont representes differents episodes d'une scene de chasse au lion. Dans le bandeau exterieur on voit un defile de soldats a pied ou a cheval, qui est precede d'un chef monte sur un bige.
  • Bibliographie
    I.Strom, Odense, 1971, p124-127.
    M.Cristofani, Novare, 1983, p264.
    Catalogue d'exposition: les Etrusques et l'Europe, 1992, p332 et 398

    Pair of gold arm bands - 146K ; small image - 14K.
    The arm bands came from the Regolini-Galassi tomb at Cerveteri. They were manufactured in the middle of the 7th century B.C., in the local area; each bracelet is made of a rectangular band of gold and has a length of 26 cm, a width of 6.9 cm and a diameter of 10 cm.
    The central part of each bracelet is decorated with repeated scenes of three standing female (260K) figures, who hold a palm in each hand - 248K.
    At each end, the bands are decorated with a more complex scene: two palms surround a woman who stands (243K) between two lions, each stretching out a front paw and leaning the other on her shoulder.

    Paire de bracelets en or
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau=or
    dimension:Diam=10cm
    numero d'inventaire:20562 et 20563
    provenance:tombe de Cerveteri
    datation:670 avant J.C
  • Commentaire
    De meme que la grande fibule presentee plus haut, ces bracelets en or illustrent a la fois l'influence de l'art phenicien par la presence de groupes de trois deesses en demi nudite, semblable a la deesse Astarte, la deesse qui montre sa feminite; et a la fois , par le decor ornememtal en chevrons sur les bords des bracelets, la technique de l'orfevrerie etrusque qui atteint une maitrise parfaite a l'epoque orientalisante. La figure de la femme placee entre deux lions est une reprise du motif du "maitre des animaux" qui est ne en 3200 avant J.C a Uruk au coeur du futur Proche Orient.

    Statue of Mars of Todi - 93K ; small image - 31K.
    The statue is believed to have been executed in the 4th century B.C.; it was discovered in 1835 and it is considered to be representative for the technical level of the Etruscan bronze work, which was held in high esteem by their contemporaries.

    Votive bust of a woman - 195K ; small image - 11K.
    The bust was excavated at the beginning of the 19th century at the site of the ancient Etruscan city of Caere (Cerveteri). It is a terracotta statue, executed by hand in the first half of the third century B.C.; the overll height is 34.7 cm.
    The work represents a woman of about thirty; her pose is frontal and her head inclines slightly to the left. The woman's physiognomy (299K) is characterized by a high forehead, a large chin and nose, strong cheekbones and hollow cheeks; irises and pupils are marked by light incisions.

    Amphora of Exekias - 171K ; small image - 15K.
    This amphora came to Etruria from the Athenian workshop of Exekias, the greatest potter working around 530 B.C.
    Depicted on the principal side of this amphora, are Achilles and Ajax (201K) who, having cast aside their arms, play "morra". On the other side, Kyllaros, the horse tamed by Kastor, dominates the scene. Behind is Kastor, welcomed by Leda and Tyndaros and his brother Pollux.
    Exekias carried the black-figure technique to perfection, particularly in the way he created intense contrasts.

    Amphore d'Exekias
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau: terre cuite peinte , figures noires
    dimension: 58cm
    numero d'inventaire :
    provenance: Etrurie
    datation: 530 avant J.C.
  • Commentaire
    Ce grand vase est le plus parfait exemple du style d'Exekias, qui porta la technique de la figure noire a la perfection.
    Sur cette amphore a tableau, Exekias a represente les deux heros, Achille a gauche, et Ajax a droite en train de jouer aux des. Par la technique de l'incision il a su figurer les details de l'armement avec un souci de realisme heroique remarquable. Il faut noter la noblesse des personnages et la perfection du dessin.
    Cette scene enfin, servira de tremplin aux premiers essais de la figure rouge attique en 530 avant J.C, comme on peut le voir a Boston au Museum of Fine Arts, sur le vase des peintres "bilingues" ,le peintre d'Andocides et le peintre de Lysippides, qui montre la scene d'Achille et Ajax jouant aux des, en figure rouge sur la face A et en figure noire sur la face B.
  • Bibliographie
    Boardmann, Attic red-figure vases, p17

    Red-figured hydria - 139K ; small image - 12K.
    This Attic vase was painted by the "painter of Berlin" (who got his name after an amphora in Berlin that ranks among his major works), circa 490 B.C.
    ; its height is 58 cm.
    The god Apollo is seated on a winged tripod (266K), riding over the sea (hyperpontios), which is denoted by fish and an octopus. Two dolphins (187K) leaping over the waves accompany him. Apollo plays the lyre.

    Hydrie du peintre de Berlin
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau: argile rougeatre epuree, figures rouges
    Dimension: Ht max= 58,2cm
    numero d'inventaire: 16568
    provenance: Vulci, ancienne collection Feoli
    datation: 500-480 av J.C.
  • Commentaire
    L'hydrie (du mot grec hydor: eau) est un recipient a trois anses : deux anses laterales pour soulever et une anse verticale a l'arriere pour verser. Les femmes y recueillent l'eau de la fontaine.
    Le peintre a su profiter de la forme du vase, plus large a l'epaule en y representant sur la face anterieure le Dieu Apollon, sur un grand trepied aile, qui survole une mer peuplee de dauphins.
    Ce vase caracterise a merveille le style du peintre de Berlin, "the painter of grace" selon Beazley, qui privilegie les representations de figures isolees sur fond noir et se detachant sur chaque face du vase. En ce sens la simplicite de la composition est ici d'esprit classique.
    C'est donc bien du style severe que nous daterons ce vase, qui allie la delicatesse du dessin avec le gout de la scene narrative.
  • Bibliographie
    Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-painters, Oxford, 1963, p209.
    Boardman, Athenian Red-Figure Vases, London, 1975, p91-111.
    Catalogue d'exposition: les Etrusques et l'Europe, 1992, p339 et 398

    Black-figured column krater 176K ; small image - 18K ; small size detail - 17K.
    This Corinthian vase, circa 560 B.C., is known as the Astarita krater (it is a gift from Mario Astarita); its height is 47 cm.
    The shoulder decorations depict the mission of Menelaos and Odysseus (281K) to Troy; the names of practically all of the figures are inscribed.
    Seated on the stepped altar in the sanctuary of Athena at Troy are Menelaos, Odisseus (346K) and the herald Talthybios. They are approached by Theano, her two maids Dia and Malo, and her nurse. Behind them follow fifteen mounted horsemen and two youth on foot. The names that are given are Harmatides, Glaukos and Eurymachos (327K - the sons of Antenor and Theano), Ilioneus, Politas (291K) and Polyphas (281K - on a white horse).
    In the zone below, there are goats (261K) and panthers - 261K.
    The Greeks had come to Troy to ask for a peaceful surrender of Helen. They are depicted inside the city, having just arrived. They are met by Theano, the priestess of Athena and the wife of Antenor, the most important Trojan, next to King Priam. The embassy to Troy was not successful and the Trojan War broke out, but during the sack of Troy the Greeks spared the house of Antenor.

    Black-figured amphora - 172K ; small image - 23K.
    This Attic vase attributed to the Painter of the Vatican Mourner (his name piece), was executed circa 530 B.C.
    It depicts Eos mourning (246K) her dead son Memnon (obverse) and the recovery of Helen (reverse).
    The scene, set in a forest, shows a dead, naked warrior (256K) on a bed of pine branches. His armor, helmet, (262K) greaves and shield are leaning against, or are suspended from the two trees on the left. A raven (325K) perches on one of the pine trees. The woman in the center, Eos, the mother of Memnon (300K), bends over the body of the dead hero and tears at her hair in the time honored gesture of mourning.
    On the reverse, Menelaos, enraged at his faithless wife, threatens to kill Helen with a sword; the encounter took place after the sack of Troy. Aphrodite intervened and counseled Helen to reveal her beauty, which led to reconciliation.

    Amphore du peintre du Vatican
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau: terre cuite peinte, figures noires
    dimension: 57cm
    numero d'inventaire: 16589
    provenance: Etrurie
    datation: 530 avant J.C
  • Commentaire
    Cette amphore a tableau illustre les recherches et les impasses de la figure noire dans la peinture de vases attiques. Le recours aux grands mythes est typique des ecoles regionales , ici Eos decouvrant son fils mort et Helene face a son mari Menelas. Redoublant le message propre au mythe ,le peintre sait user de toute une symbolique dans le detail des armes et des arbres par exemple. La figure de la femme presente d'une part la carnation blanche traditionnelle et une robe au decor incise.
    La qualite du dessin, si elle parait pauvre dans le vetement de la femme ou les arbres et dans le dessin de l'oeil de face et pas encore en vrai profil car la pupille est placee au centre de l'oeil lui meme , il est en revanche remarquable dans le detail figure de l'anatomie de Memnon, allonge a droite. Nous pouvons rapprocher ce vase au point de vue thematique de la tres belle coupe de Douris visible au Louvre et presentant Eos portant le corps de son fils Memnon mort.

    Black-figured kylix - 152K ; detail - 218K ; small image - 17K.
    This Laconian kylix, circa 555 B.C. is attributed to the Arkesilas Painter; its diameter is 20 cm.
    Atlas (272K) is at the left holding up the sky, while an eagle picks at the chest of Prometheus (293K) who is tied to a column, at the right; a small bird is perched on the column.
    Below the main picture, there is a Doric column (324K) and two flowers. The groundline, supported by the column in the exergue, must represent the disk of the earth (in cross section).

    Coupe d'Arcesilas
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau: terre cuite peinte, figures noires
    dimension: diam=20cm
    numero d'inventaire: 16592
    provenance: Laconie
    datation: 550 avant J.C.
  • Commentaire
    Cette elegante coupe est un exemple typique du style regional des figures laconi ennes. Sur un engobe blanc Arcesilas a represente des personnages tres grands qui jouent le role de motifs de remplissage.
    Le dessin des details an atomiques reste fort schematique, comme le montrent les mains a deux doigts et le torse d'Atlas. L'incision est peu pratiquee, elle ne sert qu'aux dessins de contours. La thematique mythologique est traitee avec une certaine naivete, notament dans l'usage de symboles assez grossiers.

    Black-figured olpe - 133K ; small image - 23K.
    This Corinthian vase, circa 630-615 B.C., is attributed to the Painter of Vatican (his name piece); its height is 32 cm.
    The figured decoration is in four zones that circle the vase; dot rosettes are used as filling ornaments.
    In the first zone, adjacent to the neck (144K), a sphinx, and ibis and a lion are depicted. In the second zone (216K), there are lions and herbivores. The symmetrical decorations are also repeated in the third and fourth zones - 212K.

    Olpe du peintre du Vatican
    (Notices de Cecile et Francois-Michel Le Tourneau)

  • Fiche
    materiau:terre cuite peinte, figure noire
    dimension: Ht=32cm
    numero d'inventaire: 16334
    provenance : Corinthe
    datation: 630-615 avant J.C
  • Commentaire
    Cette olpe est le vase eponyme du peintre du Vatican. La decoration en registres et les motifs vegetaux et animaliers sont typiques du style corinthien. C'est ce que l'on appelle le style des chevres sauvages , inspire des motifs des lions passants et des sphinges. 'est Corinthe en effet qu i invente au VIIe siecle la technique des figures noires: silhouette noire sur arg ile jaune pale, ici recouvert d'un engobe blanc, avec incision pour les details in terieurs.
    Cependant la suprematie de Corinthe sera de courte duree puisque, depassee par la suprematie des exportations athenien nes elle declinera vers 540, en voulant imiter le style attique aux depens de son propre style.

    Red-figured hydria - 93K ; small image - 15K ; small size detail - 41K.
    This Attic vase, circa 510 B.C., is attributed to Euthymides. The shoulder decorations present a harvest scene - 191K; the height of the vase is 39.5 cm.
    In the center, a bearded man (230K) pours wine from an amphora into a large syphos, as a youth (223K) approaches eagerly from the right. On the left, another youth (226K) is playing the flutes. The symmetrical border decorations (215K) are typical for the early Attic pottery.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY:
  • C. Albizzati: Vasi antichi dipinti del Vaticano, Roma, 1925-1939.
  • H. Payne: Necrocorinthia, Oxford, 1931
  • M.I. Davies: Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae, Zurich,1981
  • J.D. Beazley: Attic black-figure vase painters, Oxford, 1956
  • J.D. Beazley: Attic red-figure vase painters, Oxford, 1963
  • L. Paretti: La tomba Regolini-Galassi di Cerveteri, Citta del Vaticano, 1947
  • C.M. Stibbe: Lakonische Vasenmahler des sechsten Jahrhunderts vor Christus, Amsterdam, 1972

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