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Video transcript

the ancient Etruscans built temples that in some ways look like Greek and Roman temples but are also distinct well when we look at them from the front they certainly look like ancient Greek temples but they're really different for one thing the Etruscans did not use the Greek orders that is the Doric or ionic or Corinthian for another they had very deep porches and the temples tended to be more square and they're not made of stone the way ancient Greek temples were we're looking at the fragments of four large scale terracotta figures from the temple at V which was a principal city of the Etruscans and we're seeing them in the Etruscan Museum in Rome in ancient Greek architecture we might expect to see figures like this occupy the pediment but instead these figures lined the rooftop and like ancient Greek sculpture they were very highly painted so it's such an interesting moment in Italy in the sixth century we have Greek colonies in the south of Italy we have the Romans in Rome although ruled by a truss King King list and then up in the northern part of Italy we have a confederacy of about a dozen Etruscan city-states so Italy is a complicated place in the sixth century BCE these are slightly larger than life and although they were placed equidistantly they do enact a specific scene this is a scene from ancient Greek mythology it's the third labour of Hercules Hercules is sent out to capture a very large deer with golden horns now this deer is very special to the goddess Artemis and actually the idea is that the person who sent Hercules on this labour wants to annoy Artemis so that she punishes Hercules now Hercules is known in the original Greek as Heracles and he's shown here with the Golden Hind under him he has been able to capture it and now he's being confronted by both Artemis and her brother Apollo they want the deer back and so Hercules promises to release it once he shows it to the king who sent him on this labour something we find in Etruscan sculpture is the sense of movement and liveliness we see that in the sarcophagus of the spouses example and we see that here with the figure of Apollo who's striding forward and Hercules - whose body is leaning forward and whose knee is raised we see that sense of musculature and animation these are terracotta that is their clay so they would have been modeled in an additive process Apollo where's that archaic smile that were used to seeing from the Kouros figures but he's still very different than the great figures his smile is a little bit more animated his proportions of his body are different and the look on his face is not one that is looking out into a generalized space he is catching the eye of Hercules he is engaged directly and therefore engages us and just like their faces are stylized their bodies are also highly stylized there's almost a sense of twisting at the hips and the shoulders are overly rounded and broad this is not a naturalistic depiction of the body and the artist seems to favor detail for instance look at the way that the drapery falls flat creating these lovely little loops and look at the marvelous detail of the feet this is such a tease because here we have this engaging lively sculpture from a culture whose literature has been lost and who we know so little about you