Classic Court

The Etruscans and Greek Art

Greek, The Rycroft Painter, Amphora (storage vessel) with the Ransom of Hektor. Wheel-thrown, slip-decorated earthenware with incised details, about 520–510 BCE. Toledo Museum of Art

Etruscan tombs remain important not only for their intriguing architectural designs and evidence of Etruscan cultural practice, but also for the grave goods that were sealed inside. Although they competed with them commercially in the Mediterranean, the Etruscans thought very highly of the Greeks and were influenced by them in many ways. They particularly loved Greek art and were especially avid consumers of Athenian-made painted ceramic vessels. Because of this veneration for Greek culture, the Etruscans included many decorative and beautifully crafted Greek vases in their tombs. Of the approximately 30,000 surviving Greek vases, the majority were preserved in Etruscan tombs, providing us today with many examples of Greek art that may have otherwise been lost.