This hollow full round Etruscan head is of a young man with a slight smile to his expression – probably a votive head. It is made of terra cotta. The head is well worn from the centuries, yet still has enough detail to get a good feel for the face and excellent detail to the hair. There are faint traces of polychrome paint remaining in a couple of area. The head measures 2 7/8" high by 2" wide by 2 1/2" deep. When mounted on its custom stand, the piece is 6 1/2" high.
The Etruscans remain one of the least understood and mysterious of all the ancient cultures. Overshadowed by their more famous successors--the Romans and the Greeks--the Etruscans remain a shadowy presence upon which these great cultures built. They are among the most under-represented of key ancient civilizations in museums today. The Etruscans emerged out of the earlier Villanovan culture between the 9th- and 10th-centuries BC. They were the dominant peoples stretching across Italy from coast to coast, including Tuscany, until being finally conquered by the Romans during the second century BC. Their extraordinary civilization was highly urbanized and wealthy and art played a critical role in Etruscan culture