Etruscan Frescoes are to be found in a number of ancient tombs to the north of Rome . Their images and colours tell us much of what Archaic Roman art must have been like, especially when we compare them with frescoes in cities to the south of Italy by the Samnite people at locations such as Paestum.
Etruscan frescoes and tomb paintings
This page aims to give a succinct but useful reference on Etruscan frescoes and tomb paintings. We include a series of pictures you may enlarge as well as a brief description of where such frescoes might be found. Some useful links for further reference are attached below. This is a link to the site about the Etruscans and Etruscan frescoes which I like best (www.mysteriousetruscans.com). It includes very good insights into the paintings and what they tell us of the culture behind they describe.
The most famous and startling Etruscan frescoes and tomb paintings are to be found approximately two or three kilometers from the city of Tarquinia (the area known as “Monterozzi”) in central Italy. Road signs are pretty clear and you can even arrange tours from the Museum at Tarquinia. There is much to see although you cannot actually “touch”: in more recent years the paintings have been sealed behind glass as the environmental change caused by the many visitors was actually causing the paintings to deteriorate (fungus growth).
From Rome you can easily reach Vulci, Tarquinia and Cerveteri though it will require a day to be set aside.
The vivid colours painted onto what are mere kitchen utensils sculpted on a column gives an idea of the love of colour and its power to give “life”. Similar use of colour is to be found on some sarcophagus lids (which had sculptures of their inhabitants on them). This is at Cerveteri