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Cista Handle in the Form of a Woman Somersaulting
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Cista Handle in the Form of a Woman Somersaulting


Description Provenance Credit
Description Cistae were containers used to safeguard precious objects, including mirrors, perfume flasks, and cosmetics. A particular type of cista was made during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC in Praeneste, a site in Latium (the region around Rome) that was heavily influenced by Etruscan culture. The elaborately engraved scenes are thought to imitate famous, but now lost, Greek wall-paintings. The ancient metalworker often pressed a white substance into the engraved lines in order to accentuate the decoration. The handles commonly take the form of human figures. Many artists in other early Italian cultures similarly incorporated figures of humans in functional objects. This female athlete performs a somersault. She wears only a diadem (headband) and shoes. Etruscans loved to incorporate human figures, including those of athletes, into their everyday objects.
Provenance Joseph Brummer; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1924, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1924

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Creator
Period
5th-4th century BCE (Late Archaic-Classical)
Medium
bronze
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.101
Measurements
2 13/16 x 6 15/16 x 1 13/16 in. (7.1 x 17.7 x 4.6 cm)
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