Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Cinerary urn, 2nd century b.c.; Hellenistic
    Etruscan
    Terracotta; H. 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm)
    Purchase, 1896 (96.9.223a,b)

    Hundreds of Etruscan cremation urns were produced by terracotta workshops from multiple-part molds, but each would be hand-detailed and hand-painted to add life, variety, and individuality to the relief scene on the box, and especially to the figure of the deceased reclining on the lid. The woman on the lid rests on a cushion and holds a small fan in her lap, while the dramatically different scene on the box shows five warriors engaged in battle. The name of the deceased, THANA : VIPINEI : RANAZUNIA : CREICESA, is inscribed in red pigment from right to left across the top edge of the box, continuing down the left side. Translated, her name is “Thana Vipinei Ranazunia, wife of Creice.” Here Vipinei is her family name, and Ranazunia functions as a cognomen, a name that differentiates a particular branch of the Vipinei family. Creice probably comes from the Etruscan word for “Greek,” so this Etruscan woman married a Greek man.

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  • Cinerary urn, 2nd century B.C.; Hellenistic
    Etruscan
    Terracotta; H. 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm)
    Purchase, 1896 (96.9.223a,b)

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