Etruscan specialist. Banti worked at the Vatican Library between 1930 and 1940 and on the excavations at Crete before her appointment to the University of Rome in the history of religions. In 1948 she was appointed chair of archaeology at the University of Pavia, moving two years later to Florence to teach Etruscan studies, 1950-65 [Archivio biografico italiano states 1954-74]. She also lectured at various American universities during this time. In 1965 she became director of the Istituto di Studi Etruschi, which she held until 1972. In 1968 she published a monograph on the Etruscans (published in English in 1973 as Etruscan Cities and Their Culture). Although largely a technical archaeological report, the first chapters provided one of the best overviews of Etruscan art at the time. Her library of some 930 volumes was left to the l'Università di Firenze.
[complete bibliography:] Studi in onore di Luisa Banti. "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 1964, pp. xi-xvii; Il mondo degli etruschi. Rome: A cura dell'Ente per la diffusione e l'educazione storica, 1968, English, Etruscan Cities and Their Culture. Erika Bizzarri, trans. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973; and Pernier, Luigi. Il palazzo minoico di Fest: scavi e studi della Missione archeologica italiana a Creta dal 1900 al 1950. 2 vols. Rome: Libreria dello stato, 1935-51; Exhibition of Works of Art Recovered from Germany. Morey, Sara T., trans. Rome: Istituto poligrafico dello Stato, 1947; "Myth in Pre-Classical Art." American Journal of Archaeology 58 (1954): 307-310.
Serra Ridgway, F. R. "Luisa Banti." Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, p. 116; Archivio biografico italiano 2. Munich: K. G. Saur, 1992-1994, fiche 36, entries 107-109.