The town of Tarquinia has some of the most famous and startling Etruscan frescoes and tomb paintings in central Italy.
This etruscan fresco painting is significant because of its manipulation of scale. The birds and fish in the painting are given importance through the scale they are shown at with respect to the etruscan fishermen who hunt them. The birds in particular add a fantastic sense of movement and space to the whole scene. A stricter use of scale may be seen in the painting of the horseman below right:
The ancient Etruscans learned much from the Greeks in terms of painting and fresco. This painter of this fresco makes particularly good use of the folds and drapery of the clothing to give a stronger illusion of form.
This fresco painting shows us how the etruscans were lovers of fighting as a form of entertainment.
This fresco presumably of an etruscan horseman has been interpreted by some as being Achilles. An alternative is that it is likening the tomb’s inhabitant to the mythological hero.
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