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  • Lori-Ann Touchette

Etruscan Terracotta Heads

A series of Etruscan terracotta heads in the Vatican Museum come from a votive deposit in the sanctuary of Cerveteri. Dated to the 3rd centuries BC, the first four heads reflect the influence of Hellenistic portraiture with its emphasis on the characterisation of specific types, the youth, the child, the “Celt” to more identifiable portraiture in the case of the female head. The last image dates to the 2nd century BC and is in “veristic” style. This style is connected to Late Republican Roman portraiture which is often interpreted as realistic. Although some specific aspects of the individual’s appearance were transmitted, veristic sculpture focuses on and exaggerates the visual effects of old age.

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