Villa Giulia Part 2: The Etruscans

My friend was right. The “new” Villa Giulia exhibits are bright and accessible.  It’s almost overwhelming how full of pottery and other artifacts the museum is. So, don’t think you can read every placard or spend time with every glass case of antiquities.

One of countless cases of beautiful pottery at Villa Giulia.


More pottery and artifacts

I decided to concentrate on the pieces that were personally interesting, lovely, or even humorous. Here are some of those pieces.

Ossuary in the shape of a hut


Large vessel made in the shape of a woman’s head


An engraved mirror, with a beautiful etching of an angelic female figure


A bronze lion’s head decorates a vessel


A vessel shaped like an adorable pig


A platter decorated with fish, including a spotted skate


Micro mosaic of a theater mask


Vessel with the head of a woman


Black vessel decorated with parading animals


Metal head of a horned and bearded figure


A beautiful head of a woman, her hair streaming in the wind


Male figure, still showing clear traces of paint

I particularly appreciated the Etruscan tomb, showing its delicate painting:

Looking in the tomb


The side of the tomb


Close-up of the vine motif on the ceiling of the tomb

The highlight of the visit, however, is the magnificent Sarcophagus of the Spouses, pictured at the top of this post.  Undoubtedly you’ve seen this in your art and history books over the years.  Its straightforward humanity is wonderful.  These ancient figures, a husband and wife, recline as if at a banquet.  The affection between them is apparent in the way the man “spoons” his wife, his arms around her, their feet lying together.  These are intimate representations of distinct and engaging individuals who look back at us from the past. They look friendly and engaging as if they’re about to start chatting with us.

The husband and wife


Their profiles in view, showing his ornate braided hairstyle


Her delicate hands, amid flowing garments


And their feet, his bare, hers in little pointed shoes

Perhaps a delicacy at their eternal banquet was something as exotic as this,

Ostrich egg shell

Yes, it’s an ostrich egg shell that has survived for how many thousands of years.

Something else I noticed at Villa Giulia follows in another post.