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The Evening Shadow is part of Masterpiece, an Italian podcast by Archeostorie® that describes some of the most beautiful and famous artworks from antiquity.

Hey you, who are you now?

I don’t recognize those thin fingers, the lights and shadows that flicker in your eyes, in your smile. You are so lean and tall, all bones and sinews. Tense.

You talk in bursts, then nothing for days. You love and hate with unbridled passion. You have thoughts much too big for your growing heart.

Are you well? Are you ill? I can no longer read your emotions.

A hug won’t be enough to drive away your demons: you turn your face away to keep from being kissed, you slip through my fingers like running water.

You are a creature of opposites, made of joy and sorrow.

Have you lost your way? Why don’t you want to give me your hand to find it again?

When you smile you are still my child. Once more I see your round cheeks, your missing teeth, your sticky hands. I hear the echo of your wild laughter and furious cries against the arbitrary injustice of adults.

I wish I could get your hair out of your eyes. Why don’t you let me cut just that little bit? You’ve always been so handsome! Oh, I can’t say that anymore?

By now we’re speaking different tongues.

Hey you, I want my child back!

The Evening Shadow is an Etruscan statue in bronze from the Hellenistic period, on view today at the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum in Volterra. The original function of the work is still uncertain: it may have been a votive offering, a depiction of a deity, or perhaps the reproduction of a sculpture’s elongated shadow projected on the ground.  One hypothesis is that the statue was originally placed horizontally rather than vertically. The height of the statue is 57.5 cm. Its unusually elongated form, eerily “modern,” has influenced artists like Alberto Giacometti and inspired novels and reproductions.

Volume 3 - 2019

Museum Archaeology

CC BY 4.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

How to cite

Cappelletti, G. 2019. The Evening Shadow. Archeostorie. Journal of Public Archaeology. 3: pp. 105-106. DOI: https://doi.org/10.23821/2019_/