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Conventions of Etruscan Painting in the Tomb of Hunting and Fishing at Tarquinii Author(s): R. Ross Holloway Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 69, No. 4 (Oct., 1965), pp. 341-347 Published by: Archaeological Institute of America Stable URL: . Accessed: 23/03/2011 13:29Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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Painting in the Tomb at Fishing TarquiniiPLATES



in Since their discovery 1873,the frescoesof the inner chamber the Tomb of Hunting and Fishof ing at Tarquinii have seemed a unique, almost anomalousexperimentin the history of Etruscan tomb painting (pls. 75-77,figs. 1-4).1They are a continuouspanorama,carriedaround four walls, of the seashoreand the teeming wild life sought there by the hunter and fisherman.For the first time in the art of Greeceand her culturaldependencies man is reducedto a small figure placed on a low horizon line below a wide expanseof sky. This sudden enlargementof physical space is a of majorstep in the development ancientpainting, to and it is important ask how it cameaboutwithin of the conventions Etruscan tomb paintingat Tarquinii.THE TOMB

The Tomb of Hunting and Fishingwas probably decoratedin the last decade of the sixth century B.c. Its frescoesare clearly later than the earliest exampleof Tarquiniantomb painting,the Tomb of the Bulls, and they are contemporary with the of tombsthat belong to the close important groupThe following abbreviations will be employed: MonPitt forMonumenti della Pittura antica scoperti in Italia, Leisinger

for H. Leisinger, Malerei der Etrusker (Stuttgart n.d.), Pallottino (1937) for M. Pallottino, Tarquinia (MonAnt 36, 1937); Pallottino (1952) for M. Pallottino, Etruscan Painting (Geneva Romanelli for P. Romanelli, Tarquinia (Itinerari dei 1952); Musei e Monumenti d'Italia no. 75, Rome 1954); Weege for F. Weege, Etruskische Malerei (Halle 1921).1

of the century.2 The paintingsof the inner chamber are only the more remarkable of the decopart rative program. From the dromosone passesthrough a narrow vestibuleinto the outerchamber the tomb.This of is a smallroom,approximately x 5 m., but slight4 ly larger than the inner chamber,which is again reachedthrougha smallvestibule(cf. the plan, pl. 75, fig. i).' As is usual in the sixth and fifth century paintedtombsat Tarquinii,the ceiling of both chambersslopes upward from the side walls and meets at a broadhorizontalband, runninglengthwise on the line of the dromos and vestibulesin each chamber, which suggestsa ridgepole. The painting,again conformingto normalpractice, assiststhe suggestionof a structure(cf. pls. the 75 and 76, figs. 2 and 5). In both chambers, is painted bright red, and the band at ridgepole the top of the side walls and below the gable openis with ten horiings abovethe doorways decorated zontal stripesof red, brown, blue, and white. In the inner chambera seriesof garlandshang from this band.In the outer chamber this positionis ocleaves and fruit. cupied by a patternof interlaced The garlandsof the inner chamberemphasizethe tangibilityof the band. The sloping ceiling is left undecorated the outer chambersave for a numin ber of dots of red paint irregularly placed.In the inner chamber,this area is coveredby a pattern of alternating four leafedflowersand cross-hatched squares.of the Triclinium, Tomb of the Funeral Couch, 480-460, (8)Tomb of Francesca Giustiniani, Tomb of the Querciola, no. I, Tomb of the Pulcella, after 460. A convenient statement of chronological problems is given by P. Ducati in StEtr 18 Full bibliography for the individual tombs is (1939) 203-219. collected by Pallottino (1937). 3 The plan is from Romanelli, op.cit. (supra note I) p. 2, fig. 2. Since no dimensions are given in his text, the following measurements taken from his plan and section (p. 3, fig. 3) may be useful. Dromos, length 7.2 m.; depth of tomb floor below ground level, ca. 3.0 m.; outer chamber, 5.1 x 3.9 m., vertical ht. side walls, 1.91 m., total ht. 2.35 m.; inner chamber, 4 x 3.1 m., vertical ht. side walls 1.72 m., total ht. 2.27 m.

The Tomb is fully published by P. Romanelli, Le Pitture

della Tomba della "Caccia e Pesca" (MonPitt, Sez. I, Thrquinii, fasc. II, Rome, 1938). 2 The chronology of Pallottino (1937) cols. 337-347 for the painted tombs of the sixth and fifth century is as follows: (i) Tomb of the Bulls, 540-530, (2) Tomb of the Inscriptions, Tomb of the Augurs, Tomb of the Pulcinella, 530-520, (3) Tomb of the Dead Man, Tomb of the Lionesses, 520-510, (4)

Tomb of the Baron, Tomb of the Sea, Tomb of the Bacchantes, Tomb of the Dying Man, Tomb of the Old Man, Tomb of the Painted Vases, Tomb of Hunting and Fishing, Tomb of the Tarantola (pediment group only preserved, cf. NSc [19051 78), 510-500, (5) Tomb of the Chariots, ca. 500, (6) Tomb of the

Leopards,Tomb of the Citharist (now lost), 490-480, (7) Tomb



[AlA 69

The figured decoration of the outer chamber has two parts. In the pediment above the doorway leading to the inner chamber is a scene of the return from the hunt, notable for the prolific vegetation surrounding the hunters. On the major frieze of the walls above the dado there is represented an evenly spaced series of trees (pls. 76-77, figs. 5-6). The grove is a sacred setting because the trees are laden with fillets and other offerings among which are pyxides, mirrors, and necklaces. On the ground stands at least one amphora, and among the trees dancers are performing to the accompaniment of a flutist. The representation of trees and shrubs around the walls of the tomb chamber is important from the beginning of tomb painting at Tarquinii, as we know it in the Tomb of the Bulls (pl. 78, fig. 7). The sacred grove, with offerings and dancers, is also a commonplace scene in contemporary and later tomb painting.4 In the Tomb of Hunting and Fishing, however, the figures are dramatically reduced in proportion to the trees. The reduction of the human figure has not been made without some embarrassment to the artist. The saplings of such contemporarytombs as the Tomb of the Painted Vases have become trees, but in the process the scale of the offerings has not been changed-with the result that the fillets, mirrors, and pyxides are Gargantuan in proportion to the little figures dancing beneath them. The attempt to put man in proper relation to a natural setting has far greater success in the inner chamber. Here the entire wall area has been cleared for the landscape, and the banquet scene, almost a necessity in the program of Tarquinian tomb painting from the late sixth century on, has been relegated to the pediment at the far end of the chamber. The middle of the matching pediment on the opposite wall is largely cut out by the doorway leading to the outer chamber, but in the free area at either side of the door, there is a leopard. Otherwise, over the entire wall area from the floor to the striped band below the ceiling there is a continuous scene of fowling, fishing, and swimming by the seashore.5Even the customary dado is omitted.

On the left wall (pl. 76, fig. 3) there is a tiny island from which two youths are diving into the sea. One has just dived; the other is climbing up to take his place. Their activities are watched by a group in a rowboat. Dolphins leap from the sea while overhead pass flocks of birds. On the rear wall and on the right side wall (pls. 75 and 76, figs. 2 and 4) the scene changes to hunting and fowling. On both walls the fowler plies his sling from an island or low shore while the occupants of a rowboat cast their lines for fish or turn their spears against the water fowl." The elements of these pictures are all to be found in Greek vase-painting.7But their existence in the tradition of Greek drawing in which the painters of the Tarquinii tombs were schooled does not mean that any Greek painting existed as a prototype of these scenes. Archaic Greek art never produced anything like the effect of this open sky filled with passing birds, the expanse of water, the low horizon, and the isolated small human figures. Black-figured vase-painting scenes of ships on the open sea come nearest, but the crucial effect of the open sky is always lacking.8THE ISOLATED FIGURE

The small and isolated human figures of the Tomb of Hunting and Fishing have their genesis in Etruscan painting. In the Tomb of the Bulls, painted about 530, the small frieze of the main chamber, placed above the two doorways and the Achilles and Troilus panel, is already symptomatic of