The Museo Nazionale Etrusco boasts one of the richest collections from the Etruscan world. With famous pieces like the ‘married couple” terracotta sarcophagus, Chigi Vase, Veii acroterial statues, Pyrgi gold foil tablets, and more, it reveals an astounding culture, all nestled within an exceptional 16C villa of Julius III.  

The Institute has a long history of collaboration with the museums and its dynamic director Valentino Nizzo. The Institute produced an introductory video to the collection that encapsulates what fascinates us about the Etruscans and their legendary ties to the Romans.  

Today, we add to this growing collection by sharing the famous Apollo of Veii, the incredible terracotta painted statuary that was so influential on early Rome. 

From the collection of Museum Nazionale Etrusco, we can examine the amazingly well-preserved acroterial roof-top terra-cotta painted statues from the Sanctuary of Minerva and the Temple of Apollo in Veii, the southern-most Etruscan city, closest to Rome. The city was destroyed by Rome in 396 BC, but not before exerting a cultural and artistic influence on Rome.

These statues (510-500 BC), Hercules on his labor to capture the Ceryneian Golden Hind, (deer) sacred to Artemis, Apollo, who challenges him, and Leto (Latona), also a more fragmentary Mercury, are exquisite works of art that survive. They are contemporary with the terra-cotta statuary that adorned the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus in Rome. That work was attributed to Vulca, an Etruscan artisan, and quite possibly the Veii terra-cotta statues were made by the same workshop.

For another insightful look at the Etruscans, you can also walk through the collection with Darius and the museum director Valentino Nizzo, from our Museum Week collaboration in March.

Please join us for more Etruscan content later this summer, as we explore the Banditaccia cemetery. Stay in the loop by signing up to our newsletter here.