Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of saint francis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Feast of Lars Velch, the Tomb of The Shields, Necropolis of Tarquinia

Travel guide for Tuscany

The Necropolises of Tarquinia and Cerveteri


Tarquinia, a medieval town famous for its archeological remains, is situated just a few kilometres from Tuscany, in Northern Lazio, very close to Capalbio and Monte Argentario and less than an hour drive from Podere Santa Pia.
The town is situated on a small hill, overlooking the beautiful natural landscape of the Alta Tuscia below and immersed amongst the enchanting valleys of the Marta River and the extraordinary territory of Bassa Maremma.

The main square of Tarquinia is the Piazza Cavour, at the west end of the town. In this square a magnificent palace, part of it in Gothic style and part of it Romanesque, with a beautiful pillared courtyard, the Palazzo Vitelleschi (1436-39), now houses the Museo Nazionale Etrusco, with one of Italy's best collections of Etruscan finds, including a fabulous group of terra-cotta winged horses from the 4th century BC.

The Etruscans inhabited central-western Italy, between Tuscany and Lazio, from the 9th Century B.C., and experiencing a cultural climax around the 6th Century B.C. before completely disappearing - a result of the impact of Roman civilization, with which it merged in part.
No definite answer exists as to this people’s origins, and neither does any trace of a similar community – in regards to its ethnic and social characteristics – between Europe and Asia.

Ancient Tarquinia was one of Eturuia's most important cities.

The Necropolises of Tarquinia and Cerveteri

The Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia constitute a unique and exceptional testimoney of the ancient Etruscan Civilization, the only urban civilization of the pre-Roman Age. The frescoes inside the tombs – true-to-life reproductions of Etruscan homes – are faithful depictions of this disappeared culture’s daily life. These tumuli or burial mounds reproduce the homes in their various types of constructions; because they were built to mirror the Etruscan habitation itself, they are the only examples left of such in any form anywhere. The two necropolises of northern Lazio are identical replications of the Etruscans' urban grid, and are among the primary exemplars of burial centers or hubs that one can find in Italy.
The necropolis of Banditaccia in Cerveteri was developed from the 9th Century B.C., and then expanded beginning with the 7th Century, following a well-defined urban plan.
Similar is the developmental history of the necropolis of Monterozzi in Tarquinia. Both the painted tombs of the nobles and those in more simple styles are singular and extraordinary testaments to Etruscan quotidian life, as well as their ceremonies, mythology and even their artistic capacities.

Cerveteri’s Necropolis

The Tomba della Rilievi, Necropoli della Banditaccia, near Cerveteri

The necropolis tombs have very different traits one from the other, depending on the construction period and technique. Those located in the vast archaeological site of Cerveteri are in the thousands.

Organized according to an urban plan that resembles that of a city with streets, piazzas and quarters (or neighborhoods), their typology differs in relation to the historical period and the status of the family to whom they belonged. Among the most representative examples of these structures is the Tomb of the Greek Vases, dating back to the 6th Century, and accessible through a corridor that seems to imitate an Etruscan temple.

The Tomb of the Cornice, rather, allows access by way of an incline walk that leads to two smaller rooms that hold funereal beds on each side. From there, the pathway continues to a large central room that itself connects to three other principal funerary rooms. Meanwhile, the Tomb of the Capitelli (or the Capitals of a column) owes its peculiarity to its flat roof that is an exact copy of that of the Etruscan home, with support beams of oak and reed. Still, the most famous tomb – of the thousands at Banditaccia – is the Tomb of Reliefs, completed in the 4th Century B.C. The Tomba della Rilievi, the only one of its kind to be discovered in Italy, is packed with painted low relief stuccoes of the artefacts of every day Etruscan life.
It is accessible by way of a long stairway dug into the rock and running to a large room. Here, the ceiling is supported by two columns with capitals unique to Etruria. Thirteen matrimonial funerary niches fill the space, and are painted with red pillows, domestic objects and animals. It is a perfect cross section of a well-to-do Etruscan family of the 4th and 3rd Centuries.

The Necropolis of Tarquinia

The necropolis of Monterozzi in Tarquinia is also famous for its painted tombs, also dug into rock and accessible by means of inclined corridors or stairways. It was realized predominantly for one couple and is composed of one burial room. The first tombs were painted in the 7th Century, but it is only from the 6th Century that they were completely covered in frescoes.[0]
The most famous of these is probably the Fowling and Fishing Tomb with its polychrome frescoes painted about 520 BCE. The tombs of the Lionesses, of the Augurs, and of the Bacchantes (all 6th century BCE) show dancing and banqueting scenes.
The Tomb of the Triclinium is the most outstanding 5th-century painted tomb, and the Tomb of the Shields is a masterpiece of 4th-century painting. A di stinctive 2nd-century painting tradition, rare in Etruria, is found in the paintings of the Tomb of the Cardinal. A serious conservation problem has arisen as many of the paintings have been attacked by moisture and fungus since the collection was opened to the public.[1]

Tarquinia Monterozzi necropolis, area of Calvario | Map

Enlarge map Tarquinia Monterozzi necropolis, area of Calvario [1]
The Tomb of the Leopards

The Tomb of the Leopards (or Tomba dei Leopardi) is an Etruscan burial chamber so called for the confronted leopards painted above a banquet scene. The tomb is located within the Monterozzi necropolis and dates to around 480–450 BC.[2] The painting is one of the best-preserved murals of Tarquinia,[3] and is known for "its lively coloring, and its animated depictions rich with gestures."[4]

Tomb of the Leopards, confronted leopards above a banqueting scene

The banqueters are "elegantly dressed" male-female couples attended by two nude boys carrying serving implements. The women are depicted as fair-skinned and the men as dark, in keeping with the gender conventions established in the Near East, Egypt and Archaic Greece. The arrangement of the three couples prefigures the triclinium of Roman dining.[5]
Musicians are pictured on the walls to the left and right of the banquet.[6] On the right, a komos of wreathed figures and musicians approaches the banquet; on the left, six musicians and giftbearers appear in a more stately procession.[7]

The man on the far-right couch holds up an egg, symbol of regeneration,[8] and other banqueters hold wreaths.[9] The scene is usually taken to represent the deceased's funerary banquet, or a family meal that would be held on the anniversary of his death. It is presented as a celebration of life,[10] while Etruscan banquet scenes in earlier tombs have a more somber character.[11] The scene appears to take place outdoors, within slender trees and vegetation, perhaps under a canopy.[12]

Although the figures are distinctly Etruscan,[13] the artist of the central banquet draws on trends in Greek art and marks a transition from Archaic to Early Classical style in Etruscan art.[14] The processions on the left and right are more markedly Archaic and were executed by different artists.[15]

The tomb was discovered in 1875. In the 1920s, D.H. Lawrence described the painting in his travel essays Sketches of Etruscan Places:

The walls of this little tomb are a dance of real delight. The room seems inhabited still by Etruscans of the sixth century before Christ,[16] a vivid, life-accepting people, who must have lived with real fullness. On come the dancers and the music-players, moving in a broad frieze towards the front wall of the tomb, the wall facing us as we enter from the dark stairs, and where the banquet is going on in all its glory. … So that all is color, and we do not seem to be underground at all, but in some gay chamber of the past.[17]

Artistically, the painting is regarded as less sophisticated and graceful than that found in the Tomb of the Bigas or the Tomb of the Triclinium[18]

The tomb of the Triclinium

The painted walls of the Tomba del Triclinio (Tomb of the Triclinium) have been carefully removed and relocated to the local museum in order to avoid any further deterioration.

The subject matter of these paintings is very similar to that of the Tomb of the Leopards. On the end wall the banqueters recline on couches, entertained by musicians and waited on by servants. A typically elongated Etruscan cat prowls under one of the couches on the lookout for morsels. Above the couches funerary wreaths are painted to give the impression of being suspended from the walls. The long side wall is filled with the figures of dancers and musicians playing together in an idyllic setting with birds and olive trees.

The earliest painted tombs are from the 7th century but only in the 6th century were they fully developed and completely covered with painting. The 4th-century Tomb of the Lionesses consists of a small chamber with gabled roof. The painting depicts flying birds and dolphins and scenes from the life of the Etruscan aristocracy.

The Tomba delle Leonesse (The Tomb of the Lioness)

Another sixth-century BCE Tarquinian tomb is the Tomb of the Lionesses. D. H. Lawrence writes:
Lovely again is the Tomba delle Leonesse, the Tomb of the Lionesses. In its gable two spotted lionesses swing their bell-like udders, heraldically facing one another across the altar. Beneath is a great vase, and a flute-player playing to it on one side, a zither-player on the other, making music to its sacred contents. Then on either side of these goes a narrow frieze of dancers, very strong and lively in their prancing. Under the frieze of dancers is a lotus dado, and below that again, all round the room the dolphins are leaping, leaping all downwards into the rippling sea, while birds fly between the fishes. On the right wall reclines a very impressive dark red man wearing a curious cap, or head-dress, that has long tails like long plaits. In his right hand he holds up an egg, and in his left is the shallow wine-bowl of he feast. The scarf or stole of his human office hangs torn a tree before him, and the garland of his human delight hangs at his side. He holds up the egg of resurrection, within which the germ sleeps as the soul sleeps in the tomb, before it breaks the shell and emerges again. There is another reclining man, much obliterated, and beside him hangs a garland or chain , like the chains of dandelion-stems we used to make as children. And this man has a naked flute-boy, lovely in naked outline, coming towards him (holding up an egg).

Tarquinia | The Tomba delle Leonesse, at Tarquinia (The Tomb of the Lionesses)

Tomba delle Leonesse (The Tomb of the Lioness)



Tarquinia, Tomb of the Lionesses (cardarelli, danzatrice)

Tomba della Fustigazione

Tomba della Fustigazione, or "Tomb of Flogging" in English, is an Etruscan burial site from the Monterozzi Necropolis near the ancient city of Tarquinia, in central Italy. The site is named after its eroticized depictions of floggings.
Dated from the 5th century BC the tomb was discovered in 1960 and owes its name primarily for its two flogging scenes, although scenes of dance and music also complement the room. The two flogging frescoes are located on the right wall where they are separated by an image of a funerary door. The paintings are badly damaged. The fresco on the right side depicts a woman bending and holding the hips of a bearded man who is flogging her with his hand. Behind her a youth approaches with a hand on her buttocks and a raised whip in the other hand. The discovery of similar works by the Etruscan people reaffirms early Roman accounts of sexual permissiveness in Etruscan society.


Tomba della Fustigazione, fresco painting inside the tomb where two men are portrayed flagellating a woman
with a cane and a hand during an erotic situation

The Hunting and Fishing Tomb

The Hunting and Fishing Tomb is composed of two chambers. In the first, there is a depiction of Dionysian dancing in a sacred wood, and in the second, a hunting and fishing scene and portraits of the tomb owners. The painted tombs of the aristocracy, as well as more simple ones, are extraordinary evidence of what objects cannot show: daily life, ceremonies and mythology as well as artistic abilities.[0]

Tarquinia, Tomb of the Hunting and Fishing (Tomba della Caccia e Pesca)

The Tomb of Orcus

The Tomb of Orcus (Italian: Tomba dell'Orco), sometimes called the Tomb of Murina (Italian: Tomba dei Murina), is a 4th century BC Etruscan hypogeum (burial chamber).
Discovered in 1868, it displays Hellenistic influences in its remarkable murals, which include the portrait of Velia Velcha, an Etruscan noblewoman, and the only known pictorial representation of the demon Tuchulcha.[19] In general, the murals are noted for their depiction of death, evil, and unhappiness.[20]

Because the tomb was built in two sections at two stages, it is sometimes referred to as the Tombs of Orcus I and II; it is believed to have belonged to the Murina family, an offshoot of the Etruscan Spurinnae.

The Tomb of Orcus I (also known as the Tomb of Velcha) was constructed between 470 and 450 BC. The main and right walls depict a banquet, believed to be the Spurinnae after their death in the Battle of Syracuse.[20][21] The banqueters are surrounded by demons who serve as cupbearers.

One of the banqueters is a noblewoman named Velia Velcha (or by some interpretations, Velia Spurinna), whose portrait has been called the "Mona Lisa of antiquity".[22][23]
She stares into the darkness with a sombre yet disdainful look, almost sneering at death. She is richly attired in elaborately worked earrings and necklaces. The very realistic depiction of the eye, shown from the side rather than frontally as in the earlier period, is a clear indication of the Hellenistic influence and reflects the artist's knowledge of late 4th Century BCE Greek models.

Detail, Velia Velcha, as pictured on the right wall of Orcus I, Tomb of Orcus, Tarquinia, 4th century B.C.

'These (Theseus) threatened by a demon, Tomb of Orcus, Tarquinia. Theseus is known for killing the Minotaur of King Minos to save the lives of the Athenian children sent in sacrifice to it; but he had many adventures, and the one shown here involved his friend Peiritho√ºs, with whom he had abducted the daughter of Zeus, Helen, when she was about 11 years old. Later she was abducted by Paris a prince of Troy. But Peiritho√ºs later convinced Theseus that they ought to abduct Hades' wife, Persephone. Hades froze them there in a "state of forgetfulness," frozen by snakes, until Hercules found them there and rescued Theseus and some say Peiritho√ºs was freed as well.'[24]  
These and Tuchulcha
The Tomb of the Augurs

Tomb of the Augurs, back wall, scene of two Augurs, with inscription, "The priest, he stands, to pass."

'The Tomb of the Augurs is very impressive. On the end wall is painted a doorway to a tomb and on either side of it is a man making what is probably the mourning gesture, strange and momentous, one hand to the brow. The two men are mourning at the door of the tomb.
In the triangle above the painted door two lions, a white-faced one and a dark faced, have seized a goat or an antelope: the dark-faced lion turns over and bites the side of the goat's neck, the white-faced bites the haunch. Here we have again the two heraldic beasts: but instead of their roaring at the altar, or the tree, they are biting the goat, the father of milk-giving life, in throat and hip.
On the side walls are very fine frescoes of nude wrestlers,and then of a scene which has started a lot of talk about Etruscan cruelty. A man with his head in a sack, wearing only a skin-girdle, is being bitten in the thigh by a fierce dog which is held, by another man, on a string attached to what is apparently a wooden leash, this wooden handle being fastened to the dog's collar. The man who holds the string wears a peculiar high conical hat, and he stands, big-limbed and excited, striding behind the man with his head in the sack.This victim is by now getting entangled in the string, the long, long cord which holds the dog; but with his left hand he seem to begetting hold of the cord to drag the dog off from his thigh, while in his right hand he holds a huge club, with which to strike the dog when he can get it into striking range.'[25]

Tomb of the Augurs, nude wrestlers on the side walls

'This picture is supposed to reveal the barbarously cruel sports of the Etruscans. But since the tomb contains an augur, with his curved sceptre, tensely lifting his hand to the dark bird that flies by: and the wrestlers are wrestling over a curious pile of three great bowls; and on the other side of the tomb the man in the conical pointed hat, he who holds the string in the first picture, is now dancing with a peculiar delight, as if rejoicing in victory or liberation: we must surely consider this picture as symbolic, along with all the rest: the fight of the blindfolded man with some raging, attacking element. If it were sport there would be onlookers, as there are at the sports in the Tomb of the Chariots; and here there are none.
However, the scenes portrayed in the tomb are all so real, that it seems they must have taken place in actual life. Perhaps there was someform of test or trial which gave a man a great club; tied his head in a sack, and left him to fight a fierce dog which attacked him, but which was held on a string, and which even had a wooden grip-handle attached to its collar, by which the man might seize it and hold it firm, while he knocked it on the head. The man in the sack has very good chances against the dog. And even granted the thing was done for sport, and not as some sort of trial or test, the cruelty is not excessive, for the man has a very good chance of knocking the dog on the head quite early. Compared with Roman gladiatorial shows, this is almost 'fair play''.'[25]

The Tomb of the Blue Demons

Tomb of the blue Demons, Tarquinia

The Tomb of the Blue Demons was only discovered in 1985, after being found during some road works. It is located by the side of the road, adjacent to the Calvario area of the Monterozzi necropolis, although it is not usually open to the public. It is named after the blue and black skinned demons depicted on the right hand wall. (ca. 440-430 B.C.)
The Tomb of the Blue Demons has depictions of hunting scenes and a funeral banquet with four or five couples on clines, combined with a new theme of the deceased departing on a chariot to the underworld. On the left side of the right wall, there is a boat steered by Charun . On the shore a party of people seem set to greet the newcomer to the underworld, flanked by two demons. Two bigger demons (pictured appear on a hillside to the right of them. The blue demon (pictured) is seated on a rock and grasps two serpents, and the black demon seems to rush forward snarling, with piercing eyes like glowing coals. The scenes are a departure from earlier scenes of a happy afterlife, and depict a view of the underworld inhabited by hideous demons. This is one of the few tombs which depict Charon (Etruscan Charun) as the ferryman, in the Greek tradition. However all the demons are typically Etruscan in terms of iconography. In most cases, Charun is seen at the entrance to the underworld, carrying a large mallet. The probable use of this mallet was to open the city gates to Hades. It has been suggested that the gatekeeper at an Etruscan city would have been equipped with a similar mallet to unlock the huge wooden beams that held it secure.[1]
The Tomb of the Blue Demons was discovered after the publication of Stephan Steingräber's Etruscan Painting.


Tomb of the blue Demons (detail), Tarquinia

The Tomb of The Shields

Feast of Velthur Velch, the Tomb of The Shields

The Tomb of the Shields, ( dated 340 BCE and discovered in 1870), is a large and complex hypogeum with four doorways, one in the central position and linked to a room at the back, with two others on the sides, linked through doors and windows, all decorated with painted frames. Its name derived by the fact that walls of the room at the rear of the tomb are decorated with numerous golden shields.

A number of scenes are painted on the entrance wall, showing members of the Velcha family, the tomb occupants. On right of the wall in front of yo , there is a banquet, with Larth Velcha reclining on his bed with his wife Velia Seitithi, who is passing him an egg, symbol of rebirth, often reproduced in Etruscan tomb paintings. She is well dressed, and is seated next to her husband's feet, as was the custom. Not far from them, on the right wall, two other members of the family, Velthur and Arnth, the grandparents of Larth, are standing, dressed in large cloaks. They are accompanied by two young musicians. On the left wall Velthur and Ravnthiu appear again, but this time, they sit on folded stools. Velthur is holding a sceptre, symbol of his power. Over the windows, winged Spirits appear.[26]

Mother of Lars Velch. Detail. Tarquinia,
Tomb of the Shields.3rd—2nd centuries B.C.



[0] UNESCO World Heritage Sites | The Necropolises of Tarquinia and Cerveteri
[1] Tarquinia (Tarchna/Tarchuna) |
Tarquinia is one of the most ancient of Etruscan cities. The ancient myths connected with Tarquinia (those of its eponymous founder Tarchon - the son or brother of Tyrrhenos - and of the infant oracle Tages, who gave the Etruscans the disciplina etrusca, all point to the great antiquity and cultural importance of the city; and the archaeological finds bear out that Tarquinia was one of the oldest Etruscan centres which eclipsed its neighbours well before the advent of written records.
[2] Fred S. Kleiner, A History of Roman Art (Wadsworth, 2010), p. xxxv; Otto J. Brendel, Etruscan Art (Yale University Press, 1995), p. 269; Luisa Banti, Etruscan Cities and Their Culture (University of California Press, 1973), p. 79.
[3] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv.
[4] Stephan Steingräber, Abundance of Life: Etruscan Wall Painting (Getty Publications, 2006), p. 133.
[5] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv.
[6] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv.
[7] Steingräber, Abundance of Life, p. 133. The narrative of the three walls reads from right to left, as does the written Etruscan language.
[8] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv.
Note on the right hand part of the scene the man is holding in his right hand an egg. The egg is an important motif in the Etruscan concept of rebirth and the word, O8, ov, used in the Etruscan scripts appears to be "egg."
[9] Steingräber, Abundance of Life, p. 133.
[10] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv.
[11] Brendel, Etruscan Art, p. 269.
[12] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv; Brendel, Etruscan Art, p. 269.
[13] Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, p. xxxv.
[14] Brendel, Etruscan Art, p. 270.
[15] Steingräber, Abundance of Life, p. 134.
[16] Lawrence's date is a century earlier than current scholarly consensus, as noted above.
[17] D.H. Lawrence, Sketches of Etruscan Places and other Italian Essays in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of D.H. Lawrence, edited by Simonetta de Filippis (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 47–48.
[18] Steingräber, Abundance of Life, p. 133.
[19] de Grummond, Nancy (2006). Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend'. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press. pp. 229–230.
[20] "The Tomb of the Orcus". The Mysterious Etruscans. RASNA. 2000. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
[21] De Grummond, Nancy Thomson; Simon, Erika (2006). The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70687-1.
[22] P. Giannini. "Gli Etruschi nella Tuscia". Retrieved November 23, 2008.
[23] "The Etruscan Haruspexes". daVinci Editrice S.r.l.. 2004. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
[24] Etruscan Murals and Paintings, Etruscan Phrases |
[25] D.H. Lawrence in Tarquinia, The Tomb of the Augurs |
 In early April 1927 D.H. Lawrence embarked on what was to be his last extended walking tour. Accompanied by his friend Earl Brewster, he visited the major sites associated with the Etruscans, from Volterra in the north of Tuscany to Tarquinia just across the southern border in Lazio.Tarquinia was (and is) famous for its extraordinary Etruscan necropolis which contains one of the largest collection of ancient tombs ever discovered in Italy.
Lawrence was deeply moved by the colorful frescoes they contain, and soon after his visit he set down his impressions in a series of descriptive essays, originally published in Travel in 1927-8 and subsequently collected in his lovely travel book Etruscan Places which appeared in print not long after his death in 1930. This is one of Lawrence's comments on some of the tombs he explored together with photographs of some of the best known frescoes they contain.
[26] Prof. Graziano Baccolini, Università di Bologna, July 2004 |

Tarquinia (Tarchna/Tarchuna) |

Stephan Steingräber, Abundance of Life: Etruscan Wall Painting |

D.H. Lawrence, Etruscan Places - A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook |

Ancient Art Pailting |

Les Grands Siècles De La Peinture : La Peinture Étrusque, Editions d’Art Albert Skira S.A., Genève, 1985. (Première édition 1952).

Sonia Amaral Rohter, The Tomba delle Leonesse and the Tomba dei Giocolieri at Tarquinia |


Tomb of the Funerary Bed

The Tomb of the Triclinium

The Tomb of The Lioness

The Tomb of the Augurs

Tomba del Fiore di Loto, Tomb of the Lotus Flower, one of the Etruscan grave chambers of Monterozzi Necropolis

'Plants, flowers and perfumes are not strongly featured in Etruscan studies even though they are present in many paintings and reliefs.
(...) The Etruscan lotus motif, generally consisting of flowers with buds, is widespread during the Archaic period. Can the lotus motif be considered as purely decorative? Obviously, lotus frieze borders can be simply an elegant pattern, and nothing more. However, when the lotus flower or bud is shown isolated, alone, in a very important place, or a bud or flower is held by someone, it must have a more precise significance.'
(...) The word lotus/lotos (λοτος), for a Greek and consequently for an educated Etruscan, had probably at least two meanings. On the one hand it conjured up the motif (flower or bud) that came from Egypt through orientalising Greek stylisation, and on the other hand, it alluded to a well-known epic legend. The famous adventures of Ulysses’ companions on the shores of the lotus-eaters’ country created a new meaning. The universally known tale from the Odyssey.

They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars.
(Odyssey, IX, 91–7; trans. Samuel Butler)

[Source: Jean-René Jannot, The Lotus, Poppy and other Plants in Etruscan Funerary Contexts | (pdf)]

Tarquinia, Tomba dei Baccanti

Monuments and Archaeological Sites Opening Times

The Calvario area of the Monterozzi necropolis is open to the public all days except mondays and public holidays.
Tusday - Sunday starting from 08.30 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. in the winter time
Tusday - Sunday starting from 08.30 a.m. to 07.00 p.m. in the summer time

The other main necropolis in Tarquinia is the Scatolini necropolis, which include the tomb of the Charontes. This is situated across the main road from the Monterozzi necropolis.

The National Etruscan Museum
Tusday - Sunday starting from 08.30 a.m. to 07:30 p.m.

Chiesa di Santa Maria in Castello
Friday - Sunday starting from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m

Tarquinia, as we know it today, was called Corneto up until the 19th century. The name Corneto may derive from the presence of plants of Corniolo (Corgnitum), or perhaps from the mythical king, Corito, its founder and ancestor of Aeneas.
The city has indefinable origins. It was a Catholic Episcopalian center beginning in the 4th century A.D.
Petrarch defined Corneto as "Turritum et spectabile oppidum, gemino cinctum muro". In other words, a beautiful, fortified town surrounded by a double wall that dominated the view of travelers with its 38 majestic towers.
Since the middle of the 12th century it was a free city, in the 13th century the city reinforced its status and increasingly tied to Rome, which was the best buyer of the rich production of wheat.
Between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th Corneto suffered the onslaught of two grave pestilences which reduced the population to two thirds of what it had been and contributed to the decadence of the city's architectural patrimony. At the end of the 18th century and again at the beginning of the 19th century, the city was twice occupied by French troops. In 1815 Corneto returned under the reign of the Church as a Papal State and in 1870 was annexed by the kingdom of Italy. Finally in 1872 the city assumed the name of Corneto-Tarquinia and then definitely that of Tarquinia in 1922. Throughout the course of time Tarquinia continued to be enriched with splendid palaces and churches all of which were subject to the predominant culture at the moment of construction as well as to the tastes of who governed within the Papal State or who wielded power. Today wandering through the winding streets of Tarquinia one can note Roman style architecture from the 12th-14th century along with Gothic and Renaissance motifs intertwine. The educated eye can spot Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical palaces with a variety of forms and decorations. This eclectic trend continued in the phase after Italy was united and has spread throughout the major part of Italy.
[Source: Informazioni Tarquinia | www.tarquiniaturismo.itl]



Chiesa di Santa Maria in Castello

This article incorporates material from the Wikipedia articles Tomb of the Leopards, Tomba della Fustigazione, Tomb of Orcus published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Necropoli dei Monterozzi (Tarquinia).
Photo credits Podere Santa Pia and © Photo, Les Grands Siècles De La Peinture : La Peinture Étrusque,
© 1985, by Editions d’Art Albert Skira S.A., Genève. First edition © 1952, by Editions d’Art Albert Skira S.A., Genève.


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