Echoes of Sculptural Marks:From Ancient Persia to Etruscan Theaters



As we walked the Persia show at the Getty (the exhibition runs through August 8th- we highlyrecommend visiting if you can), we could not help but make curious connections, not just with object, but also with line. The legacy of sculptural mark making finds its way in history through stone, to clay, to the illustrator's page, and onward and onward. And it's such a fun line to trace through the eras. This pairing inspired a pause for a closer look. After all, there is a shared mythology, so why not a reality? At least on this digital page… There is nothing like stone relief carving, of course, and the forever-ness of that medium… after all, nearing 2500 years old -- get the candles out. He was most likely part of a staircase, and thus turned at an angle, gazing up on a staircase in a palace, a theater, a temple. This graphic expression of hair, rosette, and foliage on the Persian pieces is echoed eloquently through the channels of Etruscan design that influenced Italian objects, and re-emerges in our pair of faux terra cotta ladies. As for our over-scaled feminine pair donning crowns and jewels, they, too were likely part of a theater themselves, flanking a stage. They were also likely influenced by the cross-section of Persia with Etruscan influences, and made in Italy. Still, the Persian influences cross over: the hair styles, the wonderful head pieces or the crowns - whatever the specific name is, we aren't sure, but the flowers and foliage all around, we are absolutely sure of. They, too, have staying power, as well as a clear 4th century reference. In fact, you wouldn't believe it's faux terra cotta. You turn them around and they are hollow and lightweight, but they have survived. As we all do.