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Guy Gaswint

Several of the works in the Etruscan wing depict women or were commissioned by women. How does the role of women in Etruscan society seem to differ from that of the other cultures we have studied?

The Etruscan society appear to be more accepting of women and the role that they played. There are many examples where the woman’s stature was not diminished but portrayed as more equal to men. The Cerveti Sarcophagus and The Sarcophagus of Larth Tetnies and Thanchvil Tarnai bothe show displays of affection between men and women and portrays them as being more equal than art from previous periods.

We all know that women have always had an important role in society and history has even produced some very prominent women leaders. I would say that looking at percentages and facts that the social-economic, political and religious views of the time did not allow for vast populations of women to gain public status. There just was not that many women in power so most of the art sensationalized men, warriors, and rulers. I feel it is similar to the LBGTQ folk, in the 70’s they practically had to hide for their life and now they are on TV doing the nasty. Art is allowed to evolve with society but not against society.

I find it fitting that this shift comes after the Hellenistic period, it is almost as if the artists and women of the time were given more freedom of expression and the portrayal of “real” life became acceptable.