The representation of the events that make up human existence is at the centre of the exhibition organised inside the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia. Beside investigating the close link between life and death in the imagination of the peoples of ancient Italy, the exhibition compares the Etruscan universe and our current era, thanks to the collaboration with the “San Camillo-Forlanini” Foundation, with the Museum of the History of Medicine and with the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. New-born children wrapped in swaddling clothes, the head-sculpture of a young girl with a typical wedding haircut, a young man about to marry and a cinerary urn with a female breast populate the sixteenth-century museum’s halls and are on display next to instruments of more recent times, like a eighteenth-century breast pump and a nineteenth-century forceps.
Archaeological artifacts dating from the 7th century BC show us different forms of popular religiosity and the importance that was given to some fundamental passages in life: this narration is entrusted to the gifts offered to gods and goddesses of marriage and fertility which, together with soil productivity, were at the basis of the human beings’ survival. Among them, we see, for instance, terracotta dolls left by young women in the temple, marking the end of childhood and the entrance into adult life as future mothers. Or the amulets worn by young men, before they entered the forum. There are also ex-votos that reproduce male uteri and genitals, which testify to the Etruscan in-depth medical knowledge.
Life involves also illness, old age and death. Beautiful vases for drinking wine at aristocratic banquets describe us the vain spells of Medea to fulfil the dream of eternal youth pursued by Jason, the impossibility of Heracles to defeat Old Age, the immortality reached by Arianna thanks to her conjugal love to Dionysus or by Heracles himself as a reward for his labours. Birth and death, the two extreme poles of life, thus merge in an exhibition full of suggestions.
13 giugno - 6 ottobre 2019
Mar-dom ore 9.00-20.00 (la chiusura delle sale inizia dalle 19.15 e le sale saranno chiuse alle 19.30)
La biglietteria chiude alle ore 19.00