Art of the Ancient World, C. 5000 B.c.e.–400 C.E.

Etruscan Art

What did Etruscan temples look like?

Etruscan temples were greatly inspired by Greek architecture, and went on to influence Roman temple architecture. Etruscan temples were nearly square and raised on a tall foundation known as a podium. Built of mud bricks, about half of the temple was devoted to three interior rooms, and the other half was made up of a large porch supported by a double-rows of columns. Columns were made either of wood, or volcanic rock called tufa. These relatively simple buildings were elaborately painted and decorated with architectural sculpture, not on the pediment (as the Greeks would have done) but on the roof. Etruscan temple sculpture was made from terra-cotta, a challenging material to work with, and they precariously placed their pieces along roof lines and ridgepoles. Overall, an Etruscan temple looks small and heavy, supporting a cast of terra-cotta gods and goddess milling around on its roof.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Art History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App