(c. 8th–4th centuries BC) Art of the people of Etruria. The art of the Etruscans falls into three categories: funerary, urban, and sacred. Because of Etruscan attitudes toward the afterlife, most of the art that remains is funerary. Characteristic achievements are the wall frescoespainted in two-dimensional styleand realistic terra-cotta portraits found in tombs. Bronze reliefs and sculptures are also common. Tombs found at Caere, carved underground out of soft volcanic rock, resemble houses. Urban architecture was another specialty; Etruscans were among the first in the Mediterranean to lay out cities with a grid plan, a practice copied by the Romans. In the sacred area, Etruscan temples had a deep front porch with columns and abundant terra-cotta roof sculptures, such as those from the temple at Veii (late 6th century). Etruscan art was influenced by Greek art and in turn influenced the development of realistic portraiture in Italy.
A detail from a fresco dating from the 5th century BC shows Etruscan musicians wearing tunics and
—Scala/Art Resource, New York
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