Pot Pictures from the Etruscan Museum in Volterra, Italy

I visited the Etruscan Museum in Volterra on a particularly warm summer's day. The afternoon sun seeped in and seemed to steam the sculptures. I made the mistake of wearing trousers and a shirt, so I was roasting. The collection is in an old building with four floors, and as I climbed up, the atmosphere only grew hotter.

Volterra is famous for its alabaster carvings, boasting a number of still-working studios where you can see the work taking place. As you might imagine, the museum has a large collection of alabaster stone cravings... mostly depicting religious scenes or men with spears, or grand war horses. The technical skill you can see in the carvings is amazing but they are not to my taste (at all). Once you get past these, though, there is a fantastic range of ceramics.

I was blown away by the forms of the pots... not just the great range in shapes and sizes but the grace of them. They all have a something in common: a graceful aesthetic sense. I took lots of pictures and then (when the rest of my party went shopping around the town), spent a couple of hours surrounded by swallows, roses and flies, perched on a bench in the garden at the back of the museum, sketching pots. I have never been very good at sketching and felt flushes of embarrassment as I failed to translate the forms to paper.

I need to practice, clearly! Unbeknownst to me, engrossed as I was in this activity, the Museum closed. No one had come out to announce it or anything. I tried the doors but found that I was locked outside, in the back garden.

The only escape was over an old peeling whitewashed wall. The garden was higher up than the street level, so I could look over the wall. The drop must have been 9/10 feet. The air was cooler now, with the sun setting. I wondered if should stay, sleep out on the bench. But no, I had to go and meet the others for dinner. I waited until no one was passing and climbed up. The view of the garden was so nice I had to take a picture before jumping off. And then. Snap. A clean landing. I was out, and without any breakages!

View of the garden from atop the wall.

So there you are, that was my Etruscan adventure. Now here are the pots...

Love this one, it reminded me of Egyptian pottery.

This wall of pots was just astounding.

They had some lovely metal work too, pictured below.

The sculpture below is one of the museum's crowning jewels. As soon as I saw it I thought it was a Giacometti, but it actually far older, dating back to the 3rd century BC.

Here are the information panels about the bronze boy:

 Right, I'm hungry. Time for dinner!