Augustus boasted of having found a town all of bricks, and of having left it all of marble, perhaps he passed a severe censure rather than an eulogium on his age. To return to the ancient Etruscans, the Veientes and the Volsci had long disputed with them the superiority in this kind of works; of which we have a remarkable example in those bassi relievi of the Volsci found at Velletri in 1784. The other materials on which Etruscan statuary exercised itself, when marble was not at hand (the beautiful quarries which Tuscany possesses were not opened until the time of Augustus), were stones of a soft calcareous tufa, or of a coarse alabaster, materials of which the Etruscans availed themselves principally for funereal monuments, for urns ornamented with bassi relievi, which compose in every respect the richest and the most interesting series of Etruscan monuments. These indeed present to us an almost complete series of mythological history, according to the subjects which are represented on them, as well as the history of Etruscan art, in its different periods. The greater number, however, of these funereal monuments do not belong to a period of very high antiquity; they belong to the last centuries of the Roman republic, and there are a great number which must have been executed in the time of the empire. I shall point out the principal ones here, those which are remarkable for their antiquity, or for the merit of their style, and which thus correspond with the two extreme periods of the history of art. Among the most ancient monuments of Etruscan statuary, I shall mention two figures in basso relievo, representing an Etruscan warrior, with an inscription in that language; monuments in tufa or coarse peperino, which are at Volterra, and at Florence, and which incontestably indicate, by the rudeness of the style and the imperfection of the drawing, the first period of the art ; but especially a cinerary urn in calcareous stone recently found in a tomb at Chiusi, the ancient Clusium, which ought to take its place at the head of all the monuments of Etruscan art. It is a kind of case or hollow body in the form of an idol, the lower part truncated, with the two arms placed parallel over the other on the breast, and a head to correspond is placed on it. This head, in complete preservation, as well as the entire monument, presents all the characteristics of the primitive style, large prominent eyes placed obliquely, the eyebrows indicated by a single line, the nose rectilinear, and without articulation, the mouth raised obliquely on the sides so as



to express a forced smile, the hair arranged in parallel masses falling vertically, a beard indicated as a simple appendage terminating in a point without any detail, --all characteristics which are to be found more or less marked in the primitive Greek sculptures, which evince an imperfect and rude imitation, as yet devoid of all intention, of all expression of individuality, and which moreover present no positive trace of Egyptian influence. I add that the eyebrows, the ball of the eye, the beard, the hair were painted black, as well as the nails, and two kinds of bracelets marked on the arms. This is not the place to explain myself on the archæological nature of this monument, and on its analogy with Egyptian yases called canopi, and on the profound meaning which may be attached to it. These considerations, foreign to the subject which occupies us, shall be developed in a collection of unedited monuments of which, I may say, it shall not form the least important part. But in recommending it to your attention, I cannot help making a reflection which I may be allowed to communicate. The cinerary urn, for it is certainly one, and the ashes which it contains, were found untouched at the opening of the sepulchre in which it was deposited; this urn, which enclosed the remains of a contemporary of Porsenna, perhaps of one of his ancestors, has come from the depth of the tomb to give us the first certain lesson, to present to us the first authentic model of an art in its infancy.

Thus, perhaps, three thousand years have elapsed before the period of this late discovery! Thus, it is in the abodes of the dead that are preserved, discovered at different periods, almost all the elements of our knowledge—and we should know almost nothing of antiquity, but for the care which was taken of the dead, and, we must add, but for the profane interest which makes us violate their last abodes. Who can say how many treasures of erudition the earth preserves in its bosom, with thousands of buried bodies on that still virgin soil of Greece and Sicily, where, whenever one digs up the soil, a tomb is always to be found, and in this tomb, always vases, urns, instruments, objects once sacred, now simple objects of curiosity or instruction. The history of civilisation and of ancient art is to be found, so to speak, written stratum after stratum, century after century, in the bosom of the earth which conceals its elements. Each story of a tomb corresponds with an historic period, and even beneath the last depths which have been

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reached, they are still to be found, belonging to a period beyond the reach of history. Thus these tombs recently found near Albano, under a bed of lava which issued from the crater of Mount Alban, the eruptions of which have ceased from time immemorial ; these tombs, more ancient, doubtless, than those of the Nile, which present small urns in baked clay, imitating

, the rustic dwellings of the first inhabitants of Latium, in comparison with which the roofs of the poor Evander, tecta pauperis Evandri, would have been, perhaps, magnificent palaces. —what a boundless field do they open to the imagination! what an important place do those monuments, so simple, so rude, take up, in reality, in the vast domain of the past! and what an incalculable do they attest that human civilisation has passed over, on this sole ground of Latium, from these little urns of clay, to the pyramid of Caius Cestius, and to the superb mausolea of Cecilia Metella, of Augustus, and of Adrian!



From an account of the excavations at Cuma by the Count of Syracuse, in the Athenæum for Feb. 12, 1853, we extract the following, wbich strongly confirms the above observation : “It is a singular fact, that the Roman tombs, which we find from seven to eighteen feet below the soil, are built on Greek tombs, which extend in many cases even to forty feet beneath, and these again on other primitive tombs at the depth of sixty feet, which is about the level of the sea. On what accumulated generations and structures are we now standing."—Note of Translator.


Continuation of the same subject--Funerary Etruscan Urns ; of their im

portance in an historical view, and in that of Art-Patera or Mystic Mirrors-Etruscan Bronzes : different kinds of these Monuments-Engraved stones in the form of Scarabæi ; how they are to be distinguished among the other Monuments of Etruscan Style--Etruscan Painting, and in the first place those of the Vases in baked clay-Refutation of the false or exaggerated opinion which has for a long time prevailed with regard to these Vases—Vases properly Etruscan--- Paintings of the Etruscan Tombs, especially those of Corneto-Remarks on the three sepulchral grottoes recently discovered near that town--Conclusion : parallel between art among the ancient Etruscans, and among the modern Tuscans. I HAVE hitherto refrained from speaking, with some details, of the Etruscan urns in stone and alabaster, of which the museum at Volterra possesses so large a collection. I have already said that the bassi relievi with which they are ornamented, all belong to Greek history and mythology. I must add here some statements in support of this general observation. It is not alone because the renown of the heroes of Thebes and Troy had penetrated to every country, that the representation of these two great events are to be found reproduced so frequently on the funerary monuments of the Etruscans ; it was because these fables had in reality for them a national interest. Thus, Pelops, Edipus, Tydeus, Hercules, Theseus, Peleus, Achilles, Philoctetes, Ulysses, all those heroes só celebrated in the annals of ancient Greece, and so frequently represented on the monuments of Greek art, are represented in the same manner on those belonging to Etruscan art. It is not to be supposed either, that the custom of giving in the Etruscan language the name of Greek personages, arose from this, that these personages being foreign to Etruria would not have been recognised unless they were distinguished by their names. In the first place there exists to my knowledge but one single Etruscan urn on which the persons are named, that which represents the vengeance and expiation of Orestes. Secondly, this would be on the part of an entire nation a very singular custom, decorating its monuments with facts which were foreign to it, and with heroes who were unknown to it,



so that without inscriptions in its own language, both one and the other would have been unintelligible to it. But this practice, of which, I repeat, that we possess but one example,

Ι must be attributed to quite different motives. It was a pure simple imitation of what had been the custom in Greece itself, and at every period of art, in which each figure was accompanied by its name, as Pausanias informs us in speaking of the chest of Cypselus and of the paintings of Polygnotus, as a great number of Greek vases still show ; it is thus a fresh proof of the connection, with regard to origin and taste, which existed between the arts of Greece and Etruria. I shall add that this custom was founded on the nature of things, for the same phenomenon has been reproduced under the same form, and in the same countries, at the distance of many centuries, at the period which has been called the revival of the arts. It is, indeed, well known, that at these first periods of the revival of art, paintings were covered with inscriptions which designated the persons; and what was more, long legends, which seemed to issue from the mouth of these personages, indicated the subject, and were substitutes for expression which the unskilful artist could never give; so that the painter himself said in reality, through the means of a written legend, what he could not make these figures say through the means of his art. The Greeks were never reduced to this state of incapability and rudeness; but it formed a part of the simplicity of their genius, that everything should explain itself without difficulty, that every person should make itself known without circumlocution, and as on the theatre the personages announced themselves for what they were, saying seriously, and not, as Boileau would seem to say in a joke, “I am Orestes, “I am Agamemnon,” in the same way the custom of adding to the figures the name of the personages was practised at every period of the art; and we must allow that this practice had nothing in it but what may be considered natural and rational. We would do well ourselves to follow this practice, when we see in our public exhibitions subjects so obscure, compositions so complicated, that without the aid of a guide book, we could not frequently guess its meaning; and if a certain picture reaches posterity without the escort of a guide book, it will afford matter for more than a single mistake to its interpreters, and at all events some serious torture to future antiquarians.

But let us return to the Etruscans. Independently of the


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