Tag Archives: etruria

Design (4) – Lines and Birds

Miko Flohr, 18/12/2018

This is an early seventh century BC vase from Etruria, now in the Lowe Art Museum in Miami. Classical archaeologists would typically look further eastwards in this period, towards Athens and Corinth, but Central Italy is alive and kicking, and has its own ways of doing stuff. There is more red, and less black, but basic ingredients are similar, combining repetitive decorative elements with simple geometric patterns – in this case, lines. Still, this vase stands out in its simplicity. 

Design (2) – Griffins on bronze

Miko Flohr, 16/12/2018

This so-called kylix comes from somewhere in central Italy and dates back to the seventh century BCE, when Rome still was in its infancy, and Athenian democracy had yet to be invented; it belongs to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is made of bronze, but it actually looks quite rough on the surface, and a bit irregular – part of this may be preservation, but certainly not all of it (e.g. look at the handle). What I find particularly interesting, though, is the way in which the frieze of griffins has been made – they have simply been engraved in the bronze, without any relief, as would become the norm later on. This makes the bowl look simple and basic compared to some of the more complex artefacts of later periods.

Design (1) – Etruscan Baroque

Miko Flohr, 15/12/2018

This stemmed chalice was made in Etruria around the middle of the sixth century BC. Perhaps, it comes from Vulci where such vases have been found in great numbers. It is, to put it mildly, rather elaborately decorated (and not necessarily technically very functional for drinking). It is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The greyish-black color of the vase is typical for the so-called ‘Bucchero’ technique, with which this vase was made. The decoration seems at least partially, hand-shaped rather than mold-shaped – particularly as far as the details are concerned.