Antefix
Collections OnlineGregorian Etruscan MuseumRooms V and VI

Antefix

origin: unknown, formerly of the Collection of Agincourt
2nd century BC.
terra-cotta with traces of polychromy
max. height cm 47.5; max. width cm 29.3
cat. 14119

These objects decorated the lower edge of the slopes of the roof, where they covered the last row of tiles. In relief on the front there is a female personage with her wings unfolded and a cither in her left hand, leaning against a small pilaster. A drape falls from the pillar and, passing behind the naked figure, wraps around the right thigh and leg. The head, slightly bent, is framed by long hair with wavy locks parted in the middle, surmounted by a diadem. Other examples of this type of antefix are unknown. Two examples with winged but draped female figures are known from Luni: in one case she is intent on playing a double flute, in the other similarly leaning against a small pillar. Generally, numerous similar figures can be found in the reliefs of the urns of Volterra, often characterized by a strong influence of prototypes from the isle of Rhodes. From a strictly iconographical viewpoint, the figure can be cautiouslyly compared to the portrayals of Muses found in Etruscan art, documented only by engravings on mirrors and by votive statuettes protraying a seated semi-draped female personage, intent on playing the cither.