The work is a version in gilded bronze of The Orator, the renowned Etruscan statue
of Aule Metele in the act of addressing the public, placed in front of a mirror. The
Etruscan made its appearance in the back of a disused fur store at the 1991-1992 edition of Documenta in Kassel as part of the work entitled Happy Turtle.
As the artist wrote, “After the opening of the reflecting passageway that displays the
alternative to old perspective, it is necessary for art to raise its arm and point its finger to indicate the mirror as the way leading beyond the wall against which human individuality is being shattered: the very high wall of modern means interwoven
with ancient beliefs, antiquated and aberrant methods of association, devastating
rules. The arm’s length is already the first distance we can take from the tragic point of final impact. This is all in the work I presented at Documenta IX in Kassel at the end and beginning of a road.” (PISTOLETTO, 1993). (Transl. by Paul Metcalfe per Scriptum, Roma)


  • Title: L'etrusco
  • Creator: Michelangelo Pistoletto
  • Date: 1976
  • Physical Dimensions: w330 x h230 cm (with mirror)
  • Provenance: Biella, Fondazione Pistoletto - Cittadellarte
  • Type: sculpture
  • Rights: Foto di Giorgio Benni
  • Medium: mirror and bronze
  • loan: Rome, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy

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