Monday, May 19, 2014

CAPITOLINE MUSEUMS - NEW PALACE (first part)

Palazzo Nuovo
Project by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) only for a fa├žade with no building
It was begun by Girolamo Rainaldi (1570/1655) in 1603 for Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605) 
The work was resumed and completed in the years 1654/55, after a long interval, by Carlo Rainaldi (1611/91) son of Girolamo for Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55)
It was licensed for use to the Guild of the Arts of Wool and Silk and then at the Guild of the Arts of Agriculture
The museum was established in 1734 by Clement XII Corsini (1730/40), who bought the Albani collection of 418 sculptures to which statues bought by Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58) were added later
The exhibition, which has remained substantially unchanged to this day, was arranged by the Marquis Alessandro Capponi
This is the first ever public collection of antiquities in the world from which all similar museums drew inspiration and were modeled on
CORTILE
Courtyard
Exedra by Filippo Barigioni (about 1680/1753), a pupil of Carlo Fontana, with "Marforio" the colossal statue of Oceano first century AD, one of the talking statues of Rome on which signs were posted with anonymous phrases, mostly sarcastic, like Pasquino
The name traditionally comes from Martis Forum (Forum of Mars)
It was moved to the Capitoline Hill in 1594 but it was already known in the Middle Ages, when it was described and drawn near the Arch of Septimius Severus, in the Roman Forum
Above "Bust of Pope Clement XII Corsini (1730/40)" the promoter of the museum of sculptures with marble plaque celebrating the opening
In the courtyard "Three granite columns with Egyptianising reliefs" from the early imperial period, probably originally located along the road leading to the main temple to Isis in Rome, the Iseo Campensis
On the sides "Statues of satyrs" second century AD from the Theatre of Pompey formerly exhibited in the courtyard of the Palazzo Della Valle
ATRIO
Atrium
"Statue of Minerva" second century BC from the original of the fifth century BC Athena Parthenos by Phidias (about 490/430 BC), the main cult statue in the Parthenon in Athens
"Statue of Faustina the Elder" portrayed as Ceres, with remains of gilding
"Group of Polyphemus" mistakenly restored in 1636 as Pan
"Endymion" from original of the end of the fourth century BC
Colossal statue of "Mars" end of first century AD from the Forum of Nerva, maybe part of the Temple of Mars Ultor in the Forum of Augustus and probably reproducing the cult image of the temple itself, which would have been of course be much larger. The lower part is a modern restoration
"Statue of Diana the huntress" from an original of the fourth century BC. "Juno Lanuvina" or maybe Ceres dating back to the early imperial age, from an original of the fifth century BC. It was found in the Vatican area
"Statue of woman with Julia Domna's portrait" with body copy from original of the middle of the fourth century BC and head-portrait of Septimius Severus' (193/211) wife of the beginning of the third century AD
Opposite "Statue of woman with Livia's portrait" 30/20 BC from the Belvedere Palace in the Vatican
Both statues are placed over "Bases with inscriptions of the heirs of Caius Cestius" 18/12 BC from the Pyramid of Caius Cestius
"Statue of Hadrian as Pontifex Maximus" 117/138 from the area of S. Stefano Rotondo
"Draped headless statue" in porphyry marble first century AD
Around the niches many Roman inscriptions are included, most of which are funerary ones
Original Egyptian pieces set up in 1907 by the archaeologist Orazio Marucchi
They were mainly found in Rome in 1883 in the area of the Temple of Isis also known as Iseum Campensis, corresponding to the church S. Stefano del Cacco and surrounding area
In the same 1883 the collection of Egyptian antiquities formerly present in the Capitoline Museums was moved to the Vatican Museum where it still is now
"Caligula (37/41) rebuilt the temple more magnificent than ever, and gave a big boost to the neighborhood that once stood around the Egyptian Iseum. This district was formed by the dwellings of the priests who used to worship, but also artisans and traders, and corresponded - in the area and extent - to a similar 'Roman' neighborhood in Alexandria, where also stood a temple dedicated to Jupiter of the same size as the Iseum Campensis. This indicated the sense of equivalency that Rome had wanted to give Egypt and its former glory. Not vanquished people but nation on a par with Rome, as evidenced by the coin depicting two hands shaking, the Nile's and the Tiber's from the time of Antoninus Pius" (Anna Maria Partini)
"Columns with decorative plants"
"Crocodile" from the Ptolemaic or early imperial period in pink Aswan granite, incarnation of the god Sobek
"Two of Nectanebo II cynocephali" 359/341 BC gray granite embodiment of the lunar god Thoth
"Sphinx in pink granite" 144/30 BC from Via S. Ignazio
"Sphinx of Pharaoh Amasis II in basanite" 568/526 BC found near the apse of S. Maria sopra Minerva. The inscription on the breast of the pharaoh was sufficient for identification, although much of it had been scratched away, maybe by the Persians led by Cambyses II (son of Cyrus the Great and Darius I's father), who conquered Egypt six months after Amasis II's death
"Figured bell-krater" dark gray granite from the Canopus of Hadrian's Villa
"Fragment of capital bell-shaped" in marble first century AD
STANZETTE TERRENE
Small rooms on the ground floor
Epigraphic monuments, portraits and sarcophagi in three small rooms accessible from the Atrium through one door
"Fragments of Roman calendars" that Caesar defined with 365 days
"Minor Fasti" lists of magistrates
"Portrait of a member of the Julio-Claudian family" maybe Germanicus or his father Drusus Major
"Two male portraits" of the fourth century A D
Huge and significant "Attic Sarcophagus with scenes from the life of Achilles" with representations on the four sides dating to the early third century AD. It was found in 1582 or just before near the Monte del Grano between Via Tuscolana and Via Labicana. The quality and beauty of the relief are amazing
"Altar-urn of the builder, Titus Statilius Aper" with writing tools first century AD from the Janiculum Hill
"Funerary relief with three characters" early first century AD
"Base with labors of Hercules" first imperial age
"Aebutii family's funerary stele with measuring instruments" in travertine first century AD
"Cippus of Vettius Agorius Praetextatus" and his wife Fabia Paulina Aconia. He was a prefect of the fourth century AD, one of the last politicians who sought to protect and preserve the ancient Roman religion from the advance of Christianity. He was a priest and started several cults, as well as a scholar of literature and philosophy
SCALONE
Staircase
"Front of a sarcophagus with lion hunt" third century AD from the Appian Way
"Fragment of a sarcophagus with lion and antelope" in Pentelic marble of the late imperial period. The muzzle of the lion is represented schematically with expressionistically and artificially ferocious expression, but the ribs of the feline are realistically visible
"Statue of a priest in the act of bringing a vessel" with a not relevant female head copy of a Hellenistic original from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli. The drapery is rendered in an exquisite and extraordinarily realistic way

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