Etruscan colors

Frammenti di lastra dipinta con raffigurazione di uomo armato
Terracotta treasures at the Centrale Montemartini
11/07/2019 - 01/11/2020
Musei Capitolini Centrale Montemartini

An extraordinary selection of figured wall plates and architectural decorations in polychrome terracotta mould, coming from the territory of Cerveteri (the ancient city of Caere) and partly unpublished. Extended to November 1st

These are evidence of fundamental importance for the history of Etruscan painting, recently returned to Italy thanks to the action to combat the illegal traffic of archaeological finds of the Arma of Carabinieri and the cultural diplomacy of Mibac.

At the beginning of 2016, the Carabinieri of Nucleo Tutela Patrimonio Culturale recovered in Geneva a large amount of artifacts illegally stolen from Italy: together with figured vases from Magna Grecia and Roman statues, an extraordinary series of wall slabs and Etruscan architectural fragments was found with a lively polychrome, accumulated in pieces in tens of crates, without any coherent order.
A careful study and restoration activity carried out by SABAP on these findings, the result of clandestine excavations and therefore without contextual data, has made it possible to recognize in a large number of fragments, thanks to their technical characteristics and refinement of execution, slabs Etruscan paintings from ancient Cerveteri, known so far only from specimens present in some of the most important Italian and foreign museum collections.

This successful recovery of works was followed by the ratification of an important international cultural cooperation agreement signed between Mibac and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, which led to the return from Denmark to Italy of a significant further series of fragments of Etruscan painted slabs. similar to those found in Geneva.

A first phase of study and research conducted on these precious materials, dated between 530 and 480 BC, culminated in an exhibition and an international conference of studies organized by SABAP at the Castle of Santa Severa (Santa Marinella, Rome) in June 2018, which is now followed by the Roman edition of the exhibition, in the prestigious headquarters of the Centrale Montemartini, in a renewed and updated set up thanks to the presentation of the latest research results.

Through the articulated itinerary, the exhibition aims to offer the public a reading key that is as comprehensive as possible of the Etruscan painted terracotta recovered, divided by themes and typologies (companies of Hercules and other myths; dance; athletes and warriors; contexts architectural terracottas) and illustrated by precious comparison materials, mostly first-time cases, trying to best give back to these fragments, decontextualized by excavation and clandestine trade, a series of valuable informations that allow them still to provide their priceless contribution of the history knowledge and of the artistic production of ancient Caere at the height of its cultural splendor.

The valuable archaeological comparison materials displayed in the exhibition to accompany and examine in depth the issues addressed in the various exhibition sections are also partly the result of recoveries carried out by the Arma of Carabinieri, partly of refunds made on the basis of international agreements between Mibac and prestigious foreign museums. To these materials is added the contribution provided by a precious nucleus of Attic vases with black and red figures belonging to the Castellani Collection of the Capitoline Museums, usually not exposed to the public, and chosen by thematic analogy.

The exhibition also wants to represent, with a specifically dedicated section, in the fiftieth anniversary of its institution, the right recognition to the tireless activity carried out by the Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, engaged daily in its action to combat the illegal traffic of works of art affecting our country.

On the occasion of the exhibition, a catalog will be published by Nadia Agnoli, Leonardo Bochicchio, Daniele Federico Maras and Rossella Zaccagnini.

La mostra vuole anche rappresentare, con una sezione appositamente dedicata, il dovuto riconoscimento, nel cinquantenario della sua istituzione, all’infaticabile attività svolta dal Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, impegnato quotidianamente nella sua azione di contrasto al traffico illegale di opere d’arte del nostro Paese.


Musei Capitolini Centrale Montemartini
Opening hours

From July 11, 2019 to February 2, 2020 - EXTENDED to November 1, 2020
Tuesday-Sunday 9.00-19.00
Last admission half an hour before closing time
Closed Monday, January 1, May 1 and December 25

Before planning the visit, CONSULT THE NOTICES

Entrance ticket

Please visit Tickets

Free entry to MIC card holders


060608 every day from 9.00 to 19.00

Promossa da
Roma Capitale - Assessorato alla Crescita culturale - Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali e dalla SABAP (Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per l’Area Metropolitana di Roma, la provincia di Viterbo e l’Etruria Meridionale)

Zètema Progetto cultura

Con il contributo tecnico di

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

Media Partner
Il Messaggero

Progetto scientifico e cura di Alfonsina Russo, Claudio Parisi Presicce, Leonardo Bochicchio, Daniele Federico Maras e Rossella Zaccagnini

Eventi correlati

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There are no planned activities.
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