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HomeGreek PhilosphyDefying Demise: A New Interpretation of the Tomb of the Bulls, Tarquinia...

Defying Demise: A New Interpretation of the Tomb of the Bulls, Tarquinia | July 2022 (126.3)


The wall ornament of the Tomb of the Bulls (540–520 BCE) at Tarquinia is a well-cited instance of Early Archaic Etruscan tomb portray, incorporating imagery from Orientalizing iconography and mixing it with a brand new emphasis on figural illustration emanating from the East Greek world. Most earlier scholarship has advised that the tomb’s work can’t be learn coherently and that they stand alone within the broader, extra intelligible, custom of Etruscan wall portray. This paper affords a contemporary studying of the tomb’s imagery by means of tracing the doable prototypes that the artist and patron used for formulating the iconography. Central to this studying is a consideration of the structure of the tomb and the design of the imagery in relation to the structure. New interpretations are proposed for the Achilles and Troilos scene and for the 2 representations of sexual exercise on the rear wall of the tomb’s antechamber. The work pertain to broader considerations regarding fertility and fecundity, which had been important points in an aristocratic society. When the tomb is interpreted contemplating the influences underpinning its creation, particularly vase portray and architectural iconography, it’s doable to find out a coherent and rational message.

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