Undergraduate Seminar: Etruscan Wall Painting: From Here to Eternity
For centuries artists, archaeologists, scholars, and poets have been captivated by the phenomenal images found on the painted walls of Etruscan tombs. These wall paintings offer an extraordinary look at the earliest examples of monumental painting in ancient Italy (a corpus that has not survived in the contemporaneous Greek world). In quantity, only the Roman paintings of Pompeii are comparable. These striking paintings shed much light on the fascinating world of the Etruscans and provide intimate details regarding daily life, funerary ritual and the murky view of the Underworld. But there is much more to the paintings than just this—issues of visual rhetoric in the funerary realm and the transmission of identity, self, and community. This course traces Etruscan wall painting from the eighth to the second centuries BCE focusing on stylistic, thematic and iconographic issues in addition to seeking a deeper understanding of the decorative and communicative aspects of these painted walls. Since Etruscan literature has not survived, the vast and rich subject matter of wall paintings allows us entry into the remarkable world of the Etruscans.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical areas (A), and Chronological period (I), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.