Etruscan Pottery

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Definition

Etruscan pottery, produced over five centuries, was nothing if not varied. Indigenous wares such as the glossy black bucchero were made alongside red- and black-figure pottery imitating, yet modifying those produced in the Greek world. Geometric, floral, figure, and narrative decorations were appreciated and adapted from the Near East and Ionia, with even foreign potters and artists themselves settling in the cities of Etruria, such was the demand from the Etruscans for fine pottery for everyday use, at special banquets, and as offerings to their gods and dead. Pottery was also the material of choice for figure sculpture, best seen on the lids of large funerary urns, and as decoration for buildings in the form of statues and decorative plaques. Besides what they have left us of their own work, the Etruscans, great collectors of fine pottery that they were, have secured for posterity some of the finest Greek vases ever made and which now star in the collections of museums worldwide.

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