New Books by AIA Members
Etruscan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Richard Daniel De Puma

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June, 2013)

<p>The Metropolitan Museum of Art&#39;s collection of some one thousand works of Etruscan and Italic art is formidable in both quality and scope. &nbsp;For the first time in seventy years, it is treated in this generously- illustrated new publication. &nbsp;</p> <p>The book opens with short histories of Etruscan studies and of the Museum&#39;s collection. &nbsp;A synopsis of pre-Roman Italy relates aspects of the culture of ancient Etruria and the beliefs and lifestyle of its fascinating inhabitants. &nbsp;This background information sets the tone for the chapters that follow in basic chronological order, each with a varied mix of essays (on religion, language, etc.) and discussions about tomb groups, types of objects, techniques, and individual works. &nbsp;The earliest pieces date from about 900 B.C. and include bronze jewelry and terracotta vessels. &nbsp;The latest are from the Etrusco-Hellenistic Period, ca. 330-100 B.C. &nbsp;A separate chapter is devoted to the Museum&#39;s extraordinary collection of gold jewelry, ambers, and intricately carved gems. &nbsp;In the last chapter, the intriquing topic of forgeries, pastiches, and objects of uncertain authenticity is addressed. &nbsp;There is an extensive bibliography, concordance and index.</p> <p>Among the many highlights is the tomb group from Monteleone di Spoleto, featuring an impressive bronze chariot, the best preserved of its kind. &nbsp;There is an extensive collection of bucchero pottery that includes a small bucchero vase inscribed with the Etruscan alphabet. &nbsp;There are also some two dozen Etruscan mirrors, most engraved with wonderful mythological scenes. &nbsp;Complex and engaging figural handles, bronze and gold fibulae, painted pottery, and several stone, bronze and terracotta sculptures and cinerary urns are all carefully described. &nbsp;Such remarkable and diverse objects are presented in &nbsp;accessible prose that also offers the latest scholarship in a field where new discoveries continue to further our knowledge of the art and culture of pre-Roman Italy.</p> <p>352 pages, 500 color illustrations, 3 maps, 26 drawings, 12 vintage photographs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>