Height: 71.200 cm
GR 1849.5-18.21 (Bronze 587)
Room 71: Etruscan world
Bronze tripod-stand for a bowl
Etruscan, about 490-470 BC
From Vulci, Italy
Decorated with heroes
This magnificent bronze stand was probably used to support a large bowl (lebes) in which wine and water would have been mixed at banquets. Cast in several pieces, the sturdy tripod shape is enlivened by the way in which each leg is made up of three separate elements, the outer ones joining at the top to form three arches. Each arch supports a lion shown devouring its prey.
Three sets of paired figures also decorate the stand. Herakles and Hera and two satyrs can be identified: the third pair of almost identical male figures may well be the twins Kastor and Polydeukes (the Dioskouroi).
Reclining satyrs decorated the circular strengthening element joining the legs at the lower part of the stand: two of the original three survive. The legs themselves have highly decorated claw-footed finials, and in a final flourish each foot rests on the back of a frog.
O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)
E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)
S. Haynes, Etruscan bronzes (London, Sotheby's Publications, 1985)