Fragment of an Etruscan Stair Slab Relief

Culture: Etruscan
Period: Early 6th century B.C.
Material: Nenfro
Dimensions: 64 cm high
Price: 10 000 Euro
Ref: 4203
Provenance: From an old Swiss collection. Thence Belgian private collection, acquired 1988 in the gallery Elsa Bloch-Diener in Bern, Switzerland. Last in the French art market.
Condition: Unrestored
Description: Large relief of volcanic Nenfro tuff which belonged to a stair slab relief (“Lastrone a Scala”). The earliest evidence of Etruscan sculptures and relief art from Tarquinia possibly served as door clasps of chamber tombs. The image area depicts on top a sit up, winged panther who looks towards the viewer. His tail is raised and turned outwards. Below also a sit up, winged animal, possibly a lion. His tail is also raised and turned outwards. The lion and panther are typical grave keepers and common motives of stair slab reliefs from Tarquinia. The image areas are framed by fluted strips, which intend to imitate twisted ribbons. At the break point on the right were the sculptural stairs, which owe their name to the stair slab reliefs. See for comparison the stair slab relief in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg with the inventory number 1999.280, as well as the relief in the Museo archeologico nazionale in Tarquinia (for example inventory number 70814). Mounted on an old metal base.