Incense burner and base. Etruria, Central Italy. Second half of the 4th century BC. 8-3406
This bronze incense burner with clawed feet is adorned with a floral pattern that continues up to a small basin. Two nude figures, the Etruscan goddess Turan (an equivalent to Aphrodite) and her young lover Atunis stand side by side. At the top of the burner are an assortment of birds; some sitting and others dangling from small chains. This incense burner is a fantastic representation of the Etruscan mastery of metallurgy and a prime example of why their expert craftsmanship was highly valued in the Mediterranean. The intricate detailing both in its structure and adornments make this work dynamic. The bird detailing at the top is especially striking, as the artist insisted upon showing the birds in flight.
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