Height: 24.000 cm
Length: 221.000 cm
Width: 70.000 cm
GR 1838.6-8.9 (Sculpture D 22)
Room 71: Etruscan world
Sarcophagus lid with the portrait of a woman
Etruscan, around 250 BC
From Tarquinia, ancient Etruria, Italy
A portrait of an initiate in the mysteries of Dionysos
This sarcophagus lid bears a portrait figure of the woman who was buried inside the coffin. The figure is carved in high relief and the stone used is nenfro, a coarse-grained local Italian stone of volcanic origin.
The woman holds an ivy-tipped fennel-stalk or thyrsos in her left hand, and a two-handled cup in her right. She wears a fawn-skin over her other garments, and a fawn is shown beside her. All of these special attributes are connected with the cult of Dionysos, known in Etruria as Fufluns, and this woman must have been a follower of the god.
O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)
E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)