Tuscan Vase
Copy of a vase from the 1st century
B.C. from the city of Arezzo
A gift to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin on his 70th birthday
from the Gerardi Communist section of the city of Arezzo,
The terracotta pot from the Tuscan region was
one of the most extravagant items at the exhibition
of gifts to the Soviet leader in 1949.
Terracotta (from Italian words terra:
earth, clay and cotta: baked): ceramic
unglazed items made of coloured clay with
porous structure.
The Italian region of Tuscany with its capital in
Florence is famous around the world for its rich
culture of the Renaissance era.
Unfortunately the visitors of the time could not fully appreciate the vase…
To avoid embarrassing the virtue of the Soviet citizens, the erotic scenes
on the ancient relief were sensibly covered with paper bands.
Of course the gift by affluent Italians could not be exhibited for public viewing…
But, most likely out of respect for brotherly Communists and their great ancient
culture, a sort of a compromise was found: they decided to only show the form without
revealing the contents.
Collection custodian:
“The erotic motifs of this ancient art piece hardly could cause embarrassment for
joyous Italians in any period of time. They clearly hoped that this classic ancient
gift would also be liked by the ‘leader of nations,’ as Stalin was called.”