Iron Age European Art
Villanovan cremation urn with helmet on top (ca. 900 BC)
In the beginning of the Iron Age, people in Europe were still reluctant to represent the human form; the Villanovan cremation urns are just clay pots, but they wear helmets as if they were people - sometimes real helmets, sometimes clay ones.
Etruscan cremation urn
(ca. 600 BC)
By the time these are Etruscan cremation urns, though, they're definitely representing people.
Bronze deer figurine (Bulgaria, ca. 1000 BC)
Now in Sofia, Bulgaria
This is a pot from Gaul
before the Romans conquered it.
Clay statuette of a
woman nursing a baby
Bavaria, 100s AD (now in Munich)
There are many carvings, paintings, mosaic floors, and statuettes all over the European parts of the Roman Empire. This small clay statue of a woman nursing her baby was probably made to leave at a religious shrine as a sacrifice to the god, or as a thank-you offering for a safe and successful childbirth. But outside the borders of the Roman empire, in Central Europe, representations of people are still rare and abstract well into the medieval period.
Learn by doing:
More about Northern European art - the Middle Ages
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