How to See the British Museum in Four Visits

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Art - 124 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1852 edition. Excerpt: ...room, in which the ETRUSCAN VASES are arranged. These are a series of earthen vases discovered in Italy. These painted vases are the spoil from the tombs of the ancient Etruscans. The Etruscans inhabited the northern parts of Italy, and flourished there in a state of comparative civilisation, when the rest of the Peninsula, save where the Greeks were busy on its southern shore, was in a barbarous state. The Etruscan tombs present various degrees of ornament according to the wealth of their occupant, but in all of them painted vases of some description are found. It is maintained by many learned men that these beautiful vases were not a native manufacture, but were bought by the Etruscans of the Greeks of Southern Italy, who imported them from the famous potteries of Athens. The Greek inscriptions on some of these vases, and the Greek subjects from which the decorations are taken, tend strongly to confirm this hypothesis. It is, however, altogether a mystery why the Etruscans surrounded their dead with these vases. They were not used to hold human bones, nor to contain food for the deceased; but that the Etruscans held them in high estimation as sepulchral ornaments is certain from the fact that they are found universally in their tombs, the finer and more elaborate in the sepulchres of the rich, and the coarser and plainer kinds in the graves of the poor. The visitor will do well to walk carefully round this room in which the Etruscan vases belonging to the Museum are deposited. They are arranged in the supposed chronological order in which they were manufactured; the clumsy and coarse ware being placed in the first exhibiting the dawn of the potter's art, and the more elaborate and highly-wrought specimens being arranged in regular order of...

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