Scala/Art Resource, NY

Austere and elegant, her curly brown hair crowned with a laurel and her cheeks tinted pink, this Etruscan woman—identified by an inscription as “Velia, wife of Arnth Velcha”—decorates a wall of the Tomb of the Underground, in Tarquinia. Velia’s painting dates to the second half of the fourth century B.C.E., when Roman power on the Italian peninsula was growing and threatening to absorb Etruscan culture.