- Museum number
Bronze votive statuette of young man wearing a bordered tunic (tebenna) and boots with upturned toes. The figure is still fixed to its original lead mount. The youth stands braced upright, the drapery clinging to his muscular body, with his feet together, right hand extended forward, and the left placed on his waist; he is beardless and his hair is rolled up on the neck behind, falling in a thick mass over the forehead. In proportion to the body, the head is rather large, as favoured by Etruscan sculptors, allowing fine attention to the features; the hair, eyes, lashes and brows are very delicately rendered. He has a trace of the ‘archaic smile’ familiar from earlier Greek sculpture.
- Production date
Height: 23.20 centimetres
Width: 7.20 centimetres
Depth: 8 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The style of this exquisite statuette shows influence from the Greek cities of Asia Minor and perhaps of Athens, which Cristofani (1979) claimed reached northern Etruscan workshops via the Phocaean colony of Massalia (Marseilles). Richardson (1983), however, suggested that Attic pottery and late archaic sculpture were the prototypes. Whatever the inspiration, the dress, proportions and character are very definitely Etruscan.
A cloak or tebenna, bordered with a wide band of incised crosses, dots, triangles and hatching, is wrapped around his body and draped over his left shoulder. Interestingly, where the edge falls in zigzag folds down the front and back, the border is shown on both the outer and inner face of the fabric, perhaps implying that in reality the pattern on such a garment would have been woven into the cloth. The tebenna is the characteristic semi-circular Etruscan garment worn by men which was the fore-runner of the toga. The soft, high boots with upturned toes are also typical Etruscan apparel.
Gori saw the figure in 1735 in the possession of Josephus Blanchinius of Prato, together with other bronzes ‘of household gods’, with which it was said to have been found at Pizzirimonte, sic (=Pizzidimonte) near Prato. Though nothing more is known about the exact findspot of the bronze , at least two and a half centuries after the bronze was discovered, there came to light the important Etruscan settlement at Gonfienti the largest Etruscan habitation area so far uncovered in 1996, only one kilometre away from Pizzidimonte.
[J. Swaddling in Bruschetti et al 2014, III.78]
Cristofani, M., 'The Etruscans. A New Investigation', London, 1979, p. 85-92, tav. 23 c.
Richardson, E., 'Etruscan Votive Bronzes. Geometric, Orientalising, Archaic'. Mainz 1983, p. 233-234, tav. 159.
Haynes, 'Etruscan Bronzes', p.58
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2014 22 Mar-30 Sep, Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca e della Citta di Cortona, La Gran Bretagna e gli Etruschi
2019-2020 7 Dec - 29 Nov, Bologna, Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna, Viaggio in Etruria
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number