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Etruscan Bronze, "Shadow of the Evening", Museo Etrusco Guernacci Volterra

"Ombra della sera" Etruscan bronze, 3rd century BC, Museo Etrusco Guernacci, Volterra "Shadow of the evening"

He name “Ombra della Sera” , “Shadow of the night”, of this amazing sculpture comes from its elongated form resembling the long shadows cast in the evening as night falls. It is not known exactly when this bronze sculpture was discovered, but it is thought to have been found during the first excavations of the Volterran necropolis around 1728. It dates to the 3rd century B.C. during the Hellenistic (i.e. Greek in?uenced) period of Etruscan art (circa 300-89 BC).

The sculpture, showing obvious similarities with modern sculptures, belongs to a codified and figurative tradition: its elongated form needs to be understood within a devotional context. There have been many interpretations of this sculpture representing a young boy.

The “Ombra della Sera” could be the personi?cation of either of the Etruscan symbols for the positive and negative aspects of the world beyond: Lari and Lemuri or Tage, a young Etruscan deity with the appearance of a boy and the wisdom of an old man.

More recently however, it is generally thought that the boy represents a fertility god.

Support for this is found in an understanding of Volterran culture based on the agriculture and a closer look at the artwork in this context.

In the Italic and Roman world propitious rites of fertility included offerings to the land.

Sacred images were frequently thrust into the ground to protect the fruits of the Earth.

It is for this purpose that this tall, digni?ed young god was probably made. Diego Giacometti was inspired by this style of sculptures.

Source: Museum note Etruscan bronze statuette, circa 3rd–2nd century BC

Volterra, Museo Guarnacci

The copy of the “Evening shadow”, is an authorized cast of the original. It has been, exactly like the original, founded by using the process of “investment casting” out of a lost wax pattern, patinated and finished through a careful procedure, done by hand, giving it its noble ancient appearance. 

Dimensions: H 15.75 in. x W 2.5 in. x D 2.5 in.