Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Limestone cippus base

late Archaic-Classical
ca. 500–450 B.C.
Etruscan, probably Chiusine
H.: 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm)
Other: 19 7/8 in. (50.5 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 170
A cippus is a large stone marker used by the Etruscans to establish a boundary or, more commonly, to mark the location of a tomb. The Etruscans produced several types of cippi. This example, the only one in the Museum's collection, is a cubic block that originally would have supported a large spherical, onion-shaped, or pointed stone. Each side of the block is carved with an identical scene showing symmetrically disposed horsemen. These almost certainly represent the twin gods, Castur and Pultuce (Roman: Castor and Pollux), among the most popular deities worshiped by the Etruscans. This type of cippus is closely associated with Chiusi, an important city in Central Italy.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1926. "Greek Sculpture: Recent Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolian Museum of Art, 21(5): p. 126, fig. 1.

Paribeni, Enrico. 1938. "“I Relievi Chiusini Arcaici.”." Studi Etruschi, 12: no. 18, p. 73.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1940. Handbook of the Etruscan Collection. p. 23, fig. 57, New York: Marchbanks Press.

Jannot, Jean-René. 1984. Les Reliefs Archaïques de Chiusi. p. 174, figs. 586-89, Rome: École Française de Rome.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 332, pp. 289, 472, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

de Puma, Richard Daniel. 2013. Etruscan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 4.24, pp. 8, 66–67, New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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