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Bronze head of a young man


Height: 21.500 cm

Bequeathed by R. Payne Knight

GR 1824.4-70.6 (Bronze 1692)

Room 71: Etruscan world

    Bronze head of a young man

    Etruscan, about 375-350 BC
    From an island in Lake Bolsena, probably made in Orvieto, Italy

    Life-sized head of an Etruscan

    This hollow-cast bronze head came from a life-sized statue that was probably set up as a dedication in a shrine or sanctuary. The face has strong features, capped by thick hair, modelled in curving locks. The eyes are sharply defined, the irises indicated by compass-drawn circles, and the beard is shown by fine incised lines.

    The influence of the sculptural styles of Greece can be seen on Etruscan bronze sculpture of the Classical period; this head has characteristics associated with the style of the Greek sculptor Polykleitos. It also has typically Etruscan features, notably the treatment of the hair and beard. It is in fact an unmistakable Etruscan product, and a rare survival of a life-sized image from a period of great accomplishment in the making of bronze sculptures.

    M. Cristofani, I bronzi degli Etruschi (Novara, Istituto geografico De Agostini, 1985)

    E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

    S. Haynes, Etruscan bronzes (London, Sotheby's Publications, 1985)


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    On display: Room 71: Etruscan world

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