Tarquina: the Archaeological Museum

This tomb was discovered as early as 1830 in the area of Calvario and was described by G. Dennis as “The tomb of Joy and of the Party”. The paintings were stripped from the walls in 1949. The chamber is rectangular and on the back wall there is a depiction of the sea with waves rolling along the base while beyond the waves an outdoor funeral banquet is being held. Three couples are reclining on “klinai”, hence the name of the tomb. One of the couples is depicted in the background. In the foreground, beneath the low dining table spread with dinnerware, lies a rooster, a cat and a partridge. The banquet is animated with music and dancers of both sexes while cup bearers and attendants are depicted on the side walls as they serve the guests. Many scholars have attributed the paintings to a Greek or Etruscan artist who had studied under Greek influences. The perfection of design and the attention to detail in this particular fresco greatly resemble red-figure Attic vase painting.

This tomb dates between 470 and 440 B.C.

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