Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Room of the Philosophers
In the walls important ancient reliefs including "Front of a sarcophagus with the transportation of the body of Meleager" a source of inspiration for the creation of Raphael's "Deposition" kept in the Galleria Borghese
Many of those identified are purely reconstructive, having been made much later than the lifetimes of the characters portrayed
"Herm of Euripides"
Numerous portraits of "Homer"
"Herm of Socrates" replica of the so-called type B, a posthumous portrait probably copy on the famous bronze statue by Lysippus (about 370/300 a.C.) erected in Athens
Maybe "Cicero" Augustan copy of an original of the years 60/50 BC in Greek marble on a modern bust. It is a portraitknown in at least seven replicates
"Double herm of Epicurus and Metrodorus" teacher and student of early second century AD from the original of about 270 BC. It was found in the portico of S. Maria Maggiore
At the center of the room "Statue of a philosopher" with head taken from a different statue
Main Hall
Decoration of the original walls and COFFERED CEILING in gilt wood of the seventeenth century with central coat of arms of Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55) patron of the completion of the building
Recent renovations have restored the colors of surfaces, highlighting the richness of composition
PORTAL by Filippo Barigioni (about 1680/1753) as an arc, with two beautifully made winged Victories
At the center of the hall five colored marble statues:
Two outstanding "Centaurs" by the Academy of Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli in gray morato marble from Laconia (Greece), signed by Greek artists Aristeas and Papias of Aphrodisias in Caria (modern Turkey)
"Zeus" and "Aslepio" in gray morato marble of the Hadrian's period from the original of the fourth century BC. They were found in the Villa of Nero at Anzio
"Hercules Child" in green basalt from the Aventine Hill
"The god is depicted still as a child (...). He has the left hand open and facing up, with the apples of the Hesperides (...). The type of marble, very hard, makes its working very dry: the muscles are well marked (abdomen or thighs), but overall volumes remain flat and bloodless" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
In the walls:
Shelves with busts of emperors and private people, including "Hadrian" Luni marble from Hadrian's Villa
By the walls:
"Omphalos Apollo" from the original by Kalamis of the years 480/460 BC. In one of the most intact copies stored in Athens there is the omphalos, or rock covered by network, worshiped at Delphi
"Both the face of the god, with a benevolent expression, and his hair style braided tight around the head, are elements that indicate the transition from the Severe style to the Classic style" (Capitoline Museums Guide)
"Apollo of the Kassel type" early second century AD in Pentelic marble, from the famous original by Phidias (about 490/430 BC), the Apollo Kassel
"In the hands were originally a bow and arrows (left hand) and a sprig of laurel (in the right hand). The work is known to us in more than a dozen replies. The head is ancient, but probably not applicable: in the original version, it was not set to the front, but once on the right, just tilted down" (The Annalisa Monaco)
"Statue of Hadrian as Mars" about 120 AD in Pentelic marble from Ceprano
"Hunter standing with a hare in his hands" about 250 in Greek marble found in 1747 in the area of the Porta Latina (Latin Gate)
"Overall it is a pastiche of the third century AD: the portrait is of a character in the second century, typical of the time of Gallienus; the body is a copy of a Greek original of the mid fifth century BC representing Perseus in the act of raising the head of Medusa" (Capitoline Museums Guide)
"Wounded Amazon" signed by the copyist Sosikles from an original of the fifth century BC by Polykleitos of Argos (about 490/425 BC). It is also known as Amazon of the Sosikles Type or Amazon of the Capitoline Type
"Wounded Amazon" of the early imperial age in Greek marble from the original by Cresyl, found at Villa d'Este in Tivoli
"Female Statue" about 200 AD, of the type known as Modesty of the early Severian period in marble of Luni. Characteristic hairdo due to Julia Domna the wife of Septimius Severus (193/211)
"Pothos" restored as Apollo Citharoedus, reworking of the Pothos by Skopas and of the Apollo Liceus by Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD) of the fourth century BC in Pentelic marble and in marble of Luni (Carrara), found in the gardens of the Quirinal Palace. The revision is attributed to the attic sculptor Timarchides who lived in the first half of the second century BC, founder of a family of sculptors active throughout the second century BC
"Elderly woman" of the early imperial period in Parian marble from original of the Hellenistic period
"The portrayal of older people was a source of a much loved genre in the Hellenistic age: this figure was likely to be part of a composite group, as it seems to be deduced from the gestures of the woman, turned to her right in an attitude of surprise and evident concern for the scene that had to be happening near her" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
"Harpocrates" the son of Isis and Osiris in marble of Luni from one of the rooms of the substructures of the Pecile in Hadrian's Villa
"The young god is depicted entirely naked, with the characteristic gesture of the index finger to his lips to indicate silence. It is possible that this is a gesture that alludes to the secret and mystic nature of Isis' religion, whose contents could not be detected except to affiliates. (...) In his left hand, just apart from the body, there is a horn. (...) On his hair, on top of a small tuft on the forehead, a lotus flower rises vertically" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
Imperial couple "Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Minor", immortalized as Mars and Venus. It was found in 1750 on the Isola Sacra at the mouth of the Tiber
"In the composition the selected models are of great prestige: the so-called Ares Borghese for Marcus Aurelius and the Aphrodite of Capua for Faustina. It is possible that the group has been created for the wedding of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Minor, occurred in 145 AD" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
"Statue of Athena" in marble of Luni, Parian and Pentelic, from original Athena Parthenos of the fifth century BC by Phidias (about 490/430 BC). It was found at Anzio. The shield has been restored and the head is ancient but not relevant
"Portrait of Marcus Aurelius" on a not relevant loricate statue, about 161
"Portrait of Marcus Aurelius, of the so-called 'type III', recognizable by particular hair curls on the forehead. The portrait, which shows the face of the emperor almost lifeless and inanimate (thick upper eyelid, arched eyebrows), must have been developed over the years between 160 and 161. He is currently mounted on an earlier loricate statue, dating from the early imperial age, decorated with a motif of winged Victories in the act of holding a trophy" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
"Male statue with not relevant head of Augustus" about 15 AD in Greek marble
"Young Satyr" in Pentelic marble from the original attributed to Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD). It was found in 1701 in the so-called Villa of Antoninus Pius in Lanuvio
Room of the Faun
In the walls a section of brick stamps and collections of inscriptions were inserted in the eighteenth century, framed in panels, including the famous bronze table with the second part of the "Lex de imperio Vespasiani" 69/70 AD
It was an extremely important document with which the Senate gave the power to the emperor Vespasian (69/79). The text was not inscribed, but it was cast with the table
It was discovered in 1347 by Cola di Rienzo (1313/1354), the agitator of the Roman people, when it was used as an upside altarpiece in the Basilica of St. John in Lateran. It was made public by him, and inserted into a wall of the Basilica itself at the center of a fresco depicting the Roman Senate. He translated it then publicly misrepresenting the contents, making it appear that only the Roman people could give power to the emperor. It was moved to the Capitoline Museum in 1576
"If the principate of Augustus is a peculiar and difficult trade-off between different factors constituting the Roman power, Vespasian's principate marks, compared to Augustus', a moment of final consolidation that turns a balance still 'in progress' in what we call 'an institution'. And it changes profoundly its appearance affecting the social morphology of the Empire, so to ensure to it further extraordinary vitality. It is in this context that the Lex de Imperio appears: both a synthesis and a conclusion of a project constructed piece by piece by Augustus himself and consolidated by his successors. And yet it had shown its recurring weakness - highlighting the never resolved dualism between military and civil order - just in the repeated crises occurred during that time. Just until that most bloody year when several legitimate aspirants to the Empire had entrusted to the fate of arms the ultimate decision of the conflict. But, once again, especially after this crisis, the conflict found in the legal form of the Lex de Imperio the necessary solution" (Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi )
At the center "Faun" in rosso antico (antique red) marble of the early second century AD from an original of the late Hellenistic period. It was found as a torso in Hadrian's Villa in 1736. In 1744, twenty-five more fragments were found and assembled by Clemente Bianchi and Bartolomeo Cavaceppi. It was placed at the center of the hall in 1817 and since then it gave the room its name
"Numerous additions in red garnet marble, with evident gray veins, did not alter the structure or the ancient figure. The sculpture attracted the admiration of travelers and cataloguers of the museum since 1746 when it was purchased for the Capitoline collections. (...) The idea of the movement is exceptionally transmitted by both the slight rotation to the right, and the muscles showing a very contracted mass along the back and buttocks, placed on oblique planes" (Capitoline Museums Guide)
"Statue of a child with mask" decorative work intended for displays of fountains and nymphea, from an original of the second or first century BC. There is a beautiful contrast between the rough surface of the mask of a satyr and the glossy softness of the baby's skin
"Statue of a child strangling a goose" of mid imperial period from the original attributed to Boethos sculptor from Rhodes, according to a passage of Pliny
"Sarcophagus with the myth of Endymion" second or third century AD, found under the altar of the church of St. Eustace. The cover is not relevant and dates to the second century AD
"Sarcophagus with the Calydonian boar hunt" end of the second century AD
"Female Bust" about 140/150 AD
"Head of Hercules" first century AD in marble of Luni (Carrara)
"Bust of Pithodoris" of the Hadrian's period in marble of Luni from the gardens of Villa Aldobrandini
Room of the Gladiator
The last room of the oldest museum in the world is also one of the most important, with some of the greatest masterpieces of ancient sculpture:
"Dying Gaul" copy of the first century BC of a group of votive sculptures in bronze (donarium or votive offering) maybe by Epigonus dedicated at Pergamum by Attalus I (241/197 BC) for the victories over the Galatians between the third and second century BC. It was found in about 1623 in the Gardens of Sallust in Rome along with The Galatian Suicide and maybe it belonged to Julius Caesar
Professor Filippo Coarelli believes that Caesar, with the placement of this votive offering in his private residence, wanted to commemorate and glorify his victories against the Gauls of the year 58/51 BC. Coarelli also identified it as belonging to the same group of The Galatian Suicide, now in the Altemps Palace, considering the similarities between the two bases
Other scholars see it as an original from Pergamum. It was initially incorrectly identified as a gladiator, it gave that name to the room and it was always one of the most admired sculptures of the entire museum
"Hermes" about 130/150 AD in marble of Luni. It was found at Hadrian's Villa and is also known as the Capitoline Antinous
"A certain air of melancholy that is primarily seen in the look in his face led to believe that this was a representation of Antinous, considering it was found in Villa Adriana: however, the face does not seem to show a specific intent of portraiture, so it seems preferable to consider it a representation of Hermes as a youth" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
"Wounded Amazon" aka Amazon Mattei Type from the original by Phidias (about 490/430 BC), created on the occasion of an art contest among the most famous sculptors of the time for the Sanctuary of Artemis at Ephesus. The head is a copy of the Amazon of Polykleitos of Argos (about 490/425 BC) and it was added after 1775. The body was found in the Villa D'Este in Tivoli and it was heavily restored by Bartolomeo Cavaceppi
"Maiden crowned with flowers" so-called Flora of the Hadrian's period in marble from Luni, found in the Pecile of Hadrian's Villa. The identification as Flora is due to the crown of flowers which was in fact sculpted by the restorers. The correct identification is still debated
"Isis" of Hadrian's period in marble from Luni, found in the Pecile of Hadrian's Villa. In the right hand she holds a jug sculpted by the restorers and in the left she has the sistrum, a musical instrument sacred to Isis
So-called "Juno Cesi" second quarter of the second century BC from the Cesi collection, a very important Hellenistic original work in Greek marble. It was formerly preserved in the Palazzo Cesi in Via della Conciliazione
"The high quality of the work, an original of the Pergamum school, it is evident in the rendering of the volume of the chiton's folds on the breasts: the folds almost disappear in a glossy porcelain effect suggesting the soft shapes of the breasts, then thicken in a lively play of light and shade in the treatment of the mantle made out of heavy and dense material. The identification with Juno, already proposed in the early eighteenth century, it is not proven by any certain fact" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
"Cynic Philosopher" about 140/160 AD in Greek marble from an original of the third century BC of the School of Pergamum. It was found in Lanuvio in the area of the ancient Civita Lavinia
"Near his left foot there is a scrinium, the container of scrolls, useful to identify the man as an intellectual. Some details (such as the lack of shoes, the himation as the only piece of clothing and his messy hair) have contributed to identify him as a philosopher of the cynic school" (Annalisa Lo Monaco)
"Apollo with lyre" of late Hadrian's period in Greek marble from an original by Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD). It was found in the area of the Acquae Albulae near Tivoli
"Head of a man with helmet" late first or early second century AD in Greek marble from Ardea. The beautiful helmet of Attic type could identify him with a strategos (general) or with Mars
"Head of Alexander-Helios" second century AD in grechetto marble from the original maybe of the third century BC
"The fact that the head was radiated, as it is attested by the holes on the headband, refers to a representation of Helios (...). The features of the face allow the interpretation of the original as an image of Alexander the Great assimilated to Helios, stylistically attributed to the school of Lysippus; it has also been suggested that it may be a late hellenistic elaboration of the portrait of the Macedonian" (Maria Grazia Picozzi)
Delightful small group "Cupid and Psyche" about 135/145 from an original of the second century BC, found in the area of S. Balbina on the Aventine Hill
"Satyr at rest" (Anapauòmenos) of the Hadrian's period in marble from Luni from an original of about 340 BC by Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD). It was found in the Villa d'Este in Tivoli

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