Processional Imagery in Late Etruscan Funerary Art

Holliday, Peter J.  1990.   “Processional Imagery in Late Etruscan Funerary Art.” American Journal of Archaeology 94(1): 73-93.

Presenter: Loren Berry


  • Mal Pigmon;
  • Abby Rosensen;
  • Whitney Tyrkala;
  • Morgan Williams

3 thoughts on “Processional Imagery in Late Etruscan Funerary Art

  1. Hey guys I want to apologize about the length of this article. Anyway, if you did get all the way through it…What examples were presented about the status of women depicted processional funeral imagery? Also, What were some examples of similarities and/or differences between Etruscan and Roman processional imagery, and why did it stand out to you?

  2. In general, I think this article is one of the more wee-constructed that we have read so far. It has a goal, employs a great deal of evidence, and has a conclusion. From what I read, the goal seems to be to analyze Etruscan funerary art (tomb paintings, sarcophagi, etc.) and then to determine where influences, if any, came from. The article refers to many different pieces of Etruscan art, but also looks at a lot of Roman art. I understand why this would make sense for the later dates (since Rome and Etruria began developing interdependently, as the author puts it, but I was kind of troubled by certain other conclusions drawn regarding the origins of styles and motifs.

    The author at one point suggests that Greek-looking styles seen in Etruscan art are seen in other places in Italy, so the styles must not be borrowed from Greece, but rather indigenous to the area. I think this conclusion is a HUGE leap. A little further down, the author then claims that styles such as extreme attention to detail show the talents of the artists, rather than Greek introduced techniques. Again, I think this is mostly false. While it may take a talented artist to depict details, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Greek art and Etruscan art had so many similarities.

    Perhaps I misunderstood in certain sections, but the author seemed not to have a very good understanding of the relationship between Rome and Etruria, especially in earlier times. The author attributed things like the lituus to Rome and suggested that Etruscans adopted the object. Additionally, I think, again I might be incorrect, that the author referred to Murlo as a non-Etruscan site, which is also false. If I DID read these things correctly, then I think the author could probably benefit from further research into the ways in which Etruria contributed to Rome, and existed as a functioning civilization prior to major contact with Rome. If I missed the author’s point completely in these examples, then those critiques can be disregarded!

    Aside from these types of conclusions, which I did not love, the rest of the article seems fair in terms of coming to logical conclusions. I liked the wide use of examples and artifacts, and I thought the balance of different types of art was good, given the topic.

    I think maybe I just do not understand some of the author’s remarks concerning the relationships between Etruria and Rome/Greece. The conclusion didn’t seem too far off from what I would have expected, but the conclusions drawn throughout the article surprised me quite a bit. Would anyone else be able to clarify? Or, if you thought the same thing, help me word it in a different way?

    • I understand your confusion about his stance throughout this article. I believe that due to the cultural impact of Rome and the realities of the Roman politics directly impacted the processional imagery since most of the work discussed in the article date from the period of Roman domination in Etruria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *