Dear Cleo 18 08 27

Dear Cleo

I hope you have a good day out with Aunty Loz tomorrow, for me the Bank holiday is over but I didn’t waste it ,I spent the day studying Etruscan Art and a lovely thing it is too.

All Etruscan Buildings were destroyed when the Etruscans were conquered by the Romans, presumably their frescos suffered a similar fate the only frescos remaining are those discovered in Etruscan tombs by Archaeologists. Again we are confronted by paintings in inaccessible places that aren’t meant to be seen by anyone except those present at the funeral rite.

The Etruscans came from Tuscany in Italy and were a highly skilled artistic people who produced a range of art in sculpture, pottery and jewellery that were the envy of the ancient world. The Statuary that was dug up in Renaissance times would have been mainly Etruscan or Roman and the Etruscans influenced not only Roman Art but also Renaissance Art.

The Etruscans were great traders and their art has been found from France to North Africa. Their art was influenced by the Greeks, the Egyptians and the Minoans and they were perhaps the first to give their sculpture a sense of space. the prime examples of this being the Sarcophagus of the Married Couple and the Chimaera of Arezzo. This probably came about as a result of the process of working, the Sarcophagus and the Chimaera being the result of additive sculpture in clay as opposed to reductive sculpture from a block of stone, it being easier to represent an extended figure in this way.

Figure 1  The Sarcophagus of the Married Couple, terracotta

Figure 2 Chimaera of Arezzo Bronze

Returning to painting, the Etruscans got rid of the front view eye in profile.

Figure 3 Velcha Tomb of Orcus Tarquinia, wall painting

The paintings were painted in some cases directly onto the rock face and in other cases onto a thin layer of plaster. The paints were those that were common across the ancient world.

Figure 4 Vel Saties and Anaza Francois tomb wall painting

An element of portraiture and figure drawing from observation was present in the paintings, which was the precursor of the cult of the individual in later centuries. All in all the Etruscans were probably the first culture that stood on the shoulders of Giants maybe giving rise to the progression theory of Art History.

Have a great day tomorrow and I will see you later in the week.

My love as always


Mickos xx



Borellli, F. & Targis, M. (2004) The Etruscans Art, Architecture and History. London:  The British Museum Press.

Cartwright, M. (2017) Etruscan Tomb Paintings, At: (Accessed 26 August 2018)

Cartwright, M. (2017) Etruscan Civilisation,  At: (Accessed 26 August 2018)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art . Heilbrunn timeline of Art History, At: (Accessed 26 August 2018)