Lo scudo e il collare. Cervidi nell’antica Etruria

Elena Pontelli


Throughout the centuries, the Etruscan figurative repertoire unfolds a substantial set of deer figures with considerable versatility. This essay looks at examples in which the reference to the deer hints at a transfer of the animal’s properties to humans (the shield with animal effigy is the sign of humans becoming feral) or vice versa (the collar is the sign of the abandoned wild state). The proposed overview combines, therefore, two kinds of analysis: that of the different significances assigned to animal representation and that of the relationship between man and animal to define different appropriation patterns of their respective functions and qualities. Finally, just as formulas of animal characterization change to inform different presentation modes, the iconographic tropes describing the human-animal relationship also change. In this respect, the essay shows the ways in which images, in their figurative structures, effectively account for the difference between a metaphor (“being as”) and a transposition (“becoming”).

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