Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Mirror, ca. 350 b.c.; Late Classical
    Etruscan
    Bronze; Diam. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1909 (09.221.16)

    Although scenes from the Trojan War were very popular on Etruscan engraved mirrors, this example shows an unusual version of an event that gave rise to the war. Here we see Pele (Greek: Peleus) surprising his bride, Thethis (Greek: Thetis), who is assisted by the nereid Calaina (Greek: Galene) as she gazes into a mirror, on which her reflected profile is visible. Between Peleus and Thetis, who later became the parents of Achilles, is an engraved toiletries box with lid ajar to reveal various toilet items, including a perfume applicator and two perfume vases. The name “Pele” is inscribed left to right, while the other two names appear right to left, which is the standard orientation of Etruscan writing. Without the names to clarify this unconventional scene, the subject matter would probably remain a mystery.

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  • Mirror, ca. 350 B.C.; Late Classical
    Etruscan
    Bronze; Diam. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1909 (09.221.16)

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