MuseoCity 2020

Attività

Fondazione Luigi Rovati participates to the 2020 edition of Museo City Milano with an exclusive initiative on its website, previewing an Etruscan bronze statuette of “Menerva”, dating back to the fifth century BC.

MuseoCity 2020, initially planned for March but re-scheduled to 31 July – 1 and 2 August 2020 due to the health emergency, is dedicated to women, lead characters of art and culture.

 

Fondazione Luigi Rovati shows for the first time an artwork from its collections that portrays an Etruscan female divinity, the goddess Menerva, one of the most important divinities of the Etruscan cult, which is identified with the Greek Athena and the Roman Minerva, also known for her ability to throw lightning. According to the Etruscans, the deities inhabited the celestial sphere. Through the phenomena and signs observed in the sky, the Etruscan priests interpreted the divine wills that controlled every aspect of earthly life.

 

According to the Etruscans, the deities inhabited the celestial sphere and Menerva was also known for her ability to throw lightning. Lightning was actually one of the most important signs with which Etruscan gods expressed their will, so much so that the Etruscan priests interpreted the divine summons, that controlled every aspect of earthly life, through the phenomena and signs observed in the sky.

Fondazione Luigi Rovati participates to the 2020 edition of Museo City Milano with an exclusive initiative on its website, previewing an Etruscan bronze statuette of “Menerva”, dating back to the fifth century BC.
Fondazione Luigi Rovati participates to the 2020 edition of Museo City Milano with an exclusive initiative on its website, previewing an Etruscan bronze statuette of “Menerva”, dating back to the fifth century BC.

MuseoCity 2020, initially planned for March but re-scheduled to 31 July – 1 and 2 August 2020 due to the health emergency, is dedicated to women, lead characters of art and culture.

 

Fondazione Luigi Rovati shows for the first time an artwork from its collections that portrays an Etruscan female divinity, the goddess Menerva, one of the most important divinities of the Etruscan cult, which is identified with the Greek Athena and the Roman Minerva, also known for her ability to throw lightning. According to the Etruscans, the deities inhabited the celestial sphere. Through the phenomena and signs observed in the sky, the Etruscan priests interpreted the divine wills that controlled every aspect of earthly life.

 

According to the Etruscans, the deities inhabited the celestial sphere and Menerva was also known for her ability to throw lightning. Lightning was actually one of the most important signs with which Etruscan gods expressed their will, so much so that the Etruscan priests interpreted the divine summons, that controlled every aspect of earthly life, through the phenomena and signs observed in the sky.

MENERVA (ATHENA, MINERVA)

Etruscan, bronze 5th century BC

This splendid bronze statuette represents a female warrior deity ready to attack, with her right arm raised brandishing a spear and a shield in her left hand, both now lost. The imposing helmet and breastplate, and the leather cloak fastened with a Gorgon’s head to terrify enemies enable us to identify her as Menerva.

This goddess is one of the most important deities in the Etruscan religion and is the counterpart of the Greek Athena. The writers of antiquity included Menerva among the gods who hurled lightning bolts or manubiae Minervales and state that every city should have places of worship dedicated to Iuppiter, Iuno and Menerva (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva).

For the Etruscans every aspect of life, whether public or private, was controlled by the will of the gods, which was manifested through complex natural signs and phenomena, interpreted by the priests according to the Etrusca disciplina, the Etruscan divinatory science. The priests examined the entrails of sacrificed animals or used the doctrine of lightning to read the celestial vault, which was crossed by two straight perpendicular lines dividing the space into four main parts, which were then further divided into sixteen sections. Every section was inhabited by one or more deities and this scheme was also applied to the earth and used for organizing daily life.