About This Artwork

Etruscan; probably Vulci

Hand Mirror, 470/450 BC

16.8 x 15.1 x 0.7 cm (6 5/8 x 6 x 5/16 in.) (with tang)

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund, 1984.1341

Found in women’s graves, bronze mirrors were luxurious personal possessions used in life and then buried with the dead for use in the afterlife. One side was highly polished; the other side was usually engraved with a mythic scene, such as this one, which shows the goddess Eos carrying the body of her son, Memnon, who was killed by the hero Achilles. The episode was taken from Homer’s The Iliad, the epic poem that narrates the Greek siege and eventual defeat of the city of Troy.

—Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Ancient Art Galleries, Gallery 156, April 20, 1994 - February 6, 2012.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 152, November 11, 2012 - present.

Publication History

Classical Philology, vol. 95, no. 2, April 2000, The University of Chicago Press (cover image).

Treasures from The Art Institute of Chicago, (The Art Institute of Chicago, 2000), p. 72 (ill.).

"CLEOPATRA; THE ANCIENT WORLD," Computer program, 1997, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Richard De Puma, Etruscan Art, Museum Studies: Ancient Art at The Art Institute of Chicago 20, no. 1 (1994), p. 58 (ill.), no. 37.

Richard De Puma, Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum, U.S.A. I: Midswestern Collections (Ames, 1987), p. 60, no. 41, figs. a-e.

Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report 1984-85, p. 54, p. 16 (ill.).

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