Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vatican Museum of Etruscan Artifacts


Maintaining the Etruscan theme from my Fiesole post (Ancient Ruins in Fiesole) and the continuing saga of my Italian vacation, the Vatican has its own wing of Etruscan artifacts (quite large too!).  The Etruscan wing of the museum was a pleasant surprise for me.  Unlike the rest of the Vatican Museum which held wall to wall visitors, the Etruscan Wing was virtually empty.  In fact, the only other visitors in the wing were a family that likely took a wrong turn somewhere and ended here by mistake!

For vehicles of the wheeled type, the museum has both a chariot and cart.


Also on display as a centerpiece to one room is the bronze statue of the Mars of Todi from the 5th-4th Century BC.

In another room is the work, "Dying Adonis."
A few arms and armor samples,


and a fantastic pottery display to finish out the collection.







14 comments:

  1. If you've ever tried to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, you learn to appreciate an empty museum room :0) A very large and impressive collection indeed! I've recently started to read up on this people, and the Etruscans offer much to those who venture away from mainstream Roman history. In a way, they are a good example of "the winner writes the history books". I've read that the Romans, upon their military victory, meticulously destroyed Etruscan cultural artifacts and literature as a part of the romanization of this people, and that much of what is left has been found in graves and burial chambers not accessible to the Romans. Interestingly the Etruscans had a completely different language and different religious spectrum than that of the rest of Italy at that time. Really beautiful examples of chariots and pottery here, very inspiring!

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    1. When I was in Paris many years ago, I remember very well the throngs of people crowding in to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

      I, likewise, have begun exploring the Etruscans too. From what little I have read thus far, seems the Etruscans may have had Greek influences. If you look at the images on the pottery, Greek-like costumes and headgear are evident.

      The pottery collection at the Vatican was incredible. I read that the Vatican's collection is the second best collection in existence next to the Villa Giulia in Rome.

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  2. Great pics, love the chariot!!!

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    1. Thanks Ray! Yeah, that chariot was pretty cool.

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  3. Great pictures, Jonathan. One wonders what the course of History may have been like had the Etruscans prevailed over the Romans...

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    1. Good question! What are your thoughts on the Etruscan civilization pushing back their southern neighbor, the Romans?

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  4. Terrific posts and pictures Jonathan.
    I'm heading to Florence and Rome next month for ten days. I only have three days in Rome, but I may try and see that museum. Any other suggestions?

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    1. Thanks, Michael. Rome and Florence are two great cities to visit especially if you have an interest in history.

      If you decide to visit the Vatican museum, buy your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. Without advance reservations, we would have been standing in line for hours.

      Let me know some of your interests and I can make a suggestion or two in each city.

      For Florence, see my earlier post on my side trip to Fiesole. That makes a very enjoyable half day trip.

      I bet you have a terrific time.

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  5. Now that I sure would like to see! The chariot is looks very cool!

    Christopher

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  6. Wonderful antiquities. It's stunning that the chariot is in such good condition.

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    1. Yeah, that chariot was in really good condition. I couldn't tell if had been refurbished or that was original condition.

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  7. Beautiful pictures, nice looking place! Dying Adonis is looking great...

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    1. Hi Phil! "Dying Adonis" is an outstanding piece of work.

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