Height: 4 5/8" (11.7cm) 
Length: 7 3/8" (19cm)
Material or Medium: Terra Cotta
Date of Origin: 5th Century BCE -- Etruscan
Description: Etruscan art, as is well known, derived many ideas and even methods from the Greeks. They adapted these borrowings to their own culture. In their tombs, for example, they included frescoes and decorated tile of daily living and mythical topics. This title is an example of the latter. It is uneven, almost awkward, but it does show a pair of winged horses drawing a chariot in which a cloaked man holds a struggling woman. Because the horses are winged, it cannot illustrate the celebration of a marriage custom; it must be an illustration of Hades' (Pluto's) rape of Persephone, appropriate for a tomb decoration because of the reference to resurrection and immortality. The uneven thickness of the plaque, the awkward or blurred figures, and the marred back makes me think that the plaque was carelessly made by pressing the clay into a mold. The back has scratches over what seem to be two lines of illegible writing. There are two holes in the top of the plaque which are no doubt holes through which the plaque could have been nailed to the wall of the tomb. There may be some remains of the black paint on the body of the one horse.
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Rape of Persephone