The famous sarcophagus of the spouses

February 28, 2023
The famous sarcophagus of the spouses

Have you ever seen the famous sarcophagus of the spouses? It is a masterpiece known throughout the world. It is one of the many wonderful pieces of art (Etruscan art in this case) that you can see in Rome. After having seen the major sites in Rome, like the Colosseum and the Vatican with one of our tours, we’d be glad to share this gem. The famous sarcophagus of the spouses can be admired at the Etruscan Museum in Rome.

What does the Sarcophagus look like?

The two figures represented on the famous sarcophagus are depicted in a tender embrace as they prepare to drink some wine together. The positioning of the hands suggests the presence of a cup which is now lost. It is a scene of everyday life depicted on a sarcophagus that contained the remains of the deceased couple. They are portrayed as though they had never died.

They have a so-called archaic smile. The artist sought not to reproduce a human smile but to accentuate facial expressions. The eyes are now empty, but originally their hollowed-out surfaces must have been coloured. Even if it is hard for us to imagine.

sarcophagus of the spouses - side view

sarcophagus of the spouses – side view

What is the sarcophagus made of?

The sarcophagus is made of fired clay. It was discovered in 1881 in the Banditaccia necropolis in Cerveteri. The sarcophagus was broken in 400 fragments. Only a single comparable piece is known today, which is now on display at the Louvre.

A very “modern” sarcophagus

Among the Etruscans, it was normal for women to participate in the banquet as equals of their male counterparts in terms of rights and dignity, something which was not permissible among the Greeks. A very modern trait of the Etruscan culture.

The artist’s ability to conquer space and arouse emotions is unique. We would be glad to show you this wonderful piece of Etruscan art. Come to Rome and take one of our tours. Come and #feeltheessence.