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Cinerary Urn with Reclining Man

This mold-made urn from the Chiusi region of Etruria once held the cremated remains of an Etruscan man. A sculpted relief on the front of the box-like urn depicts the story of two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, who battled one another for the right to rule Thebes. The myth was borrowed from the Greeks, but a pair of winged females—a common Etruscan motif—was added to the scene. The lid of the urn supports a three-dimensional representation of the deceased, an unbearded man holding a phiale (offering bowl).

Etruscan (Italy)
Cinerary Urn with Reclining Man
3rd–2nd century BC
Terracotta, paint
H. 21 in (53.3 cm), W. 18 in (45.7 cm), D. 9 7/8 in (25.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 64.123