The Etruscans - An Ancient Italian Civilization

From June 23rd to November 25th 2012

This exhibition was presented in the new temporary exhibit rooms of the Mariners' House

A world-exclusive presentation at Pointe-à-Callière, The Etruscans – An Ancient Italian Civilization is an exhibition on one of the most remarkable and renowned civilizations of Antiquity, which developed in Italy, mainly in the region of Tuscany, over the course of nearly ten centuries, from the 9th to the 1st century BCE. This exhibition will allow visitors to explore and admire this people that figured prominently in the evolution of humanity and of the Mediterranean cultures, and which today still remains one of the most fascinating civilizations of that era.

Countless theories have been put forward about the origins of the Etruscans—we have long heard about the Etruscan mystery. The founders of rich and powerful cities, the Etruscans were at the crossroads of Mediterranean trade with the Greeks and the Egyptians until they were conquered by the Romans, who had themselves been led by Etruscan kings before. Their influence on religion, Roman institutions, and architecture was profound.

The Etruscans spoke a language that did not resemble other Italic languages. Great navigators, they are also known for having been among the first to make use of metallurgy and to raise it to an art form. A festive and joyful people, the Etruscans afforded a special status to women; they were given great consideration compared to their Greek and Roman contemporaries. Etruscan women therefore passed on their names to children, especially among the society’s upper class. Renowned for the extraordinary vitality of their funerary frescoes and the joy that emanates from their paintings, the Etruscans have left us with art that celebrates nature, love, and life.

Historical value and aesthetic beauty
The exhibition will feature over 200 objects belonging to our world heritage, which bear witness to the many facets of this civilization. Of priceless historical value and remarkable significance, these items are also of great aesthetic beauty. Among the objects on display will be many treasures including jewellery, bowls, chalices, vases, sculptures, figurines, large murals, architectural elements and ornamentation, funeral urns, amphorae, and other works of art, all grouped together under various themes articulated in a museographic setting reflecting the refinement of this people.

This exhibition was five years in the making, the time required to bring together these unique pieces from the important international collections of over a dozen museums, including the Vatican Museum, Villa Giulia in Rome, the Florence Archaeological Museum, the British Museum, and the Louvre. A richly detailed exhibition that promises to be thoroughly captivating!

The Etruscans – An Ancient Italian Civilization is produced by Pointe-à-Callière, the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History. Pointe-à-Callière thanks its sponsors: Astral, Air Canada Cargo, the ministère des Relations internationales and the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec as part of the 20th anniversary of the Québec-Italy joint sub-committee, The Italian Cultural Institute of Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, InterContinental Hotel, La Presse, and The Gazette.

The Etruscans – An Ancient Italian Civilization was awarded the Premio Venezia award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

During its presentation from June 19 to November 25, 2012, 132 818 people visited this exhibition.

Partners and sponsors