August 3, 2013 by allsho
One of the masterpieces gathered in the “Guarnacci” Etruscan Museum in Volterra is this one.
It’s a terracotta lid of a cinerary urn, dating about the I century BCE.
Experts say that the level of detail and precision in portraying the couple, an elderly couple at a banquet lying in an old-fashioned way (yes, they used to eat lying down on a triclinium, as the Romans, but Romans wouldn’t probably gladly allow women at their banquets), allows to imagine they are real portraits of a couple who commissioned this piece.
I find those pupilless eyes are not empty, the expressions on the faces, especially on the wife’s, speak of tenderness, even without a smile. And even though this piece of burnt clay was going to cover and cherish the clients’ ashes, in front of death the artist was able to return, with simplicity, the measure of a lifetime lived together.
Nothing is simpler, nothing is more meaningful: an embrace while looking into each other’s eyes.