Monday, November 11, 2013


Montemartini Power Station
1910/13 Carlo Puccioni
Power plant named after Giovanni Montemartini councilor of the municipality of Rome in the technology department, member of the City Council of the major Ernesto Nathan (1908/12)
The energy produced used to light more than 50% of the streets and squares of Rome
After World War II it was enhanced but it fell into disuse in a few years from 1963 onwards
The museum was opened in 1997 to house part of the rich sculpture collection of the Capitoline Museums as a temporary solution during the restoration of the museum itself
The coupling of Classical Archaeology and Industrial Archaeology was rightly considered so successful by transforming the exhibition from temporary to permanent. It is a wonderful and exciting museum, not helped by the location a little decentralized, but it would certainly deserve to be appreciated much more
Museo della Centrale Montemartini
Museum of the Montemartini Power Station
SALA COLONNE (Hall of the Pillars)
Republican period
Explored at the end of 1800s. It was used from the late ninth century BC throughout the Republican Age. Rich grave goods:
"Parian marble funerary urn kept in a case of tufa stone" VI/V century BC from Piazza Vittorio. It still retains traces of polychromy
Outstanding piece of "Fresco with military scenes" of the first half of the third century BC from a chamber tomb near Piazza Vittorio. It is probably connected to the Samnite wars, narrated in the style of Roman triumphal painting
"Remains of fresco with lictor" and "Decoration of a piece of furniture" from the Arieti grave
"Small bronze goat" votive gift of a burial shrine outside Porta Viminale
"Sarcophagus of Lucius Cornelius and Cornelius Scapula with ridged lid" fourth century BC from Via Marco Polo near Via Cristoforo Colombo
"Monument of the College of Tibicini" musicians who used to play a double flute during the funeral ceremonies
It had been reduced to fragments that were reused in a Renaissance wall
"Orpheus playing the flute to animals" and "Head of a barbarian" accurately worked from Hellenistic models of Pergamon school of the end of third/early second century BC
The complex is possibly connected to a Temple of Hercules, as the "Base in peperino stone" from the same area inscribed with a dedication to Marcus Minucius the dictator, a temporary winner of Hannibal in 217 BC with Quintus Fabius Maximus
Remains of a "Bed made out of bones" with scenes from the childhood of Dionysus kept together with the ashes of the deceased in an urn of alabaster from the Esquiline Hill
"Bronze funerary bed" from Amiterno inlaid with fine copper and silver
Findings in private homes:
"Capitoline litter" reconstructed with bronze coatings
"Polychrome mosaic with marine animals" bordered by acanthus scrolls found in Via Panisperna
"Example of mature reception of the well-refined Hellenistic model in the private sphere. In harmony with the hall that decorated (characterized by a large pool of 14 square meters), the mosaic depicts a colorful sea landscape with impressive naturalistic fidelity, worthy of a thorough expert in fish fauna" (Emilia Talamo)
In a separate display portraits from the basement of the Church of All Saints in Via del Babuino:
"Fragment of a bronze portrait of Nero" the other fragments of which are in Baltimore with other heads found on the site
"Bronze deformed portrait maybe of Caius Caesar"
"Marble portrait of a young girl"
Freed slaves and members of the petty bourgeoisie on funerary reliefs from tombs:
"Relief with married couple from Via Statilia"
"Relief with female figure and a girl"
"Relief with six family portraits"
Important statue of man wearing toga known as "Togato Barberini" with head not pertinent added in the seventeenth century. He holds the marble portrait heads of his father and grandfather reflecting his patrician status
"The portrait bust was unknown to Greek art, that does not tolerate artificial amputation of the organic human figure. Conversely in the Etruscan and Roman (as well as in the Celtic), an isolated head is already representative of the entire personality. The shape the bust of the Republican period, limited to just over the neck, will be set as type, although not as artistic expression, in connection with the use of masks of ancestors, the ius imaginum that involves the right or privilege of holding in images of ancestors in the atrium of the house" (Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli)
Several portraits of famous people including:
"Herm maybe representing Virgil"
"Mark Anthony or Cato the Censor"
Reconstruction of "Funerary monument attributed to Publius Ventidius Basso follower of Mark Anthony and winner of the Parthians in 38 BC
SALA MACCHINE (Hall of the Machines)
The monumental city center
"Statue of Athena Velletri type" from Via del Corso from the 430 BC original by Kresilas with head cast from the original at the Louvre
"Athena Parthenos"
"Athena Lemnia"
"Athena" from the Castro Pretorio area
"Head of Hercules" Julio Claudian copy from the Verano area from the 430 BC original by Polykleitos of Argos (about 490/425 BC)
"Head of a boxer" from an original of the fifth century BC
"Colossal statue of Apollo lyre player" from an original of the fifth century BC
"Statue of Aphrodite"
"Statue of athlete who carries the disk" from the late fifth or the early fourth century BC original in bronze by Naukydes son of Polykleitos of Argos
"Head of an amazon"
"Head of a goddess with diadem"
"Head of Dionysus"
"Head of a Caryatid"
In addition, "Reclining figure" and "Metope with warrior" Greek original pieces originally belonging to Greek temples brought to Rome to ornate temples in the Theater of Marcellus area
"Statue dressed in tunic" of the first half century BC from the original Greek of the Master of Olympia
"Head of Perseus" from an original of the fifth century BC
"Head of Hera Borghese"
"Head of Diomedes" from original by Kresilas
"Statue of Aphrodite" from the 360 BC from original by Praxiteles
"Portrait of a Ptolemaic Princess" maybe Cleopatra depicted as Isis
"Female head crowned with laurel" 
"Statue of Hestia" from Peloponnesian models of 460 BC
Two statues of women in dark stone of great artistic quality, found in the nineteenth century reused in small fragments to build walls in late antiquity:
The goddess of uncertain identification with folds in gray marble bigio antico from Tunisia known as "Simmaci's Victory" is an original creation of the late Hellenistic period, maybe Isis from the Isium Metellinum
The statue of "Agrippina the Younger offering a libation" in basanite marble from eastern Egypt was probably located in the temple of the deified Claudius. The head is a cast of the one at the Ny Carsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen
Two statues maybe from the pediment of the Temple of Jupiter Stator:
"Naked male torso" with drapery on the back depicting Jupiter from original by Myron of Eleutere (about 500/440 BC) of the first half of the fifth century BC
"Small female figure" replica of the type known as Small Herculaneum from original by Praxiteles of the end of the fourth century BC
"Battle between Greeks and Amazons" with Theseus and Hercules and the presence of Athena and Nike, precious Greek originals 450/425 BC, brought to Rome in the Augustan period to decorate the temple next to the Theatre of Marcellus
It was partially reconstructed from a "Small circular monument" between the temple and the Theater of Marcellus, maybe identified with a basin of holy water mentioned in the sources as the perirrhanterion
Colossal "Head of Hercules" in Pentelic marble by Polykles in the second century BC, part of an acrolith built by Scipio after the conquest of Carthage in 146 BC. An acrolith was a statue in which the trunk of the figure was made of wood, and the head, hands, and feet were made of marble. The wood was concealed either by drapery or by gilding and only the marble parts were exposed to view
"Base of statues erected by Asian Kings"
"Woman's Head identified as Mens" by a Neo-Attic sculptor of the first century BC
"Statue of tyrannicide Aristogiton" first century BC copy of the tyrannicides group (along with Harmodius) by Critias and Nesiote of 476 BC, formerly executed by Antenor and looted by the Persians, erected in the Agora of Athens. The event coincides temporally with the expulsion of the last king Tarquin the Proud and the beginning of the Republic in Rome
"The work reveals a modern sensibility: psychological tension, controlled impetuosity and compact physiognomy" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"The idea of depicting figures in the act of a long step forward was a common convention, and the two characters were perhaps been portrayed as if they were coming from a pediment composition. The obvious antecedent of this convention can be found in the figures of the Temple of Aphaia in the island of Aegina. The head of Harmodius, believed to be similar to that of the ephebe of Critias, shows typically archaic hairstyle with rigidly molded and thick curls, which is juxtaposed to the face in a severe style, while in Aristogiton face and hair are more uniformly severe in style" (John Griffiths Pedley)
"Base of the monument of Bocco of Mauretania" frieze with shields, trophies and victories of the first century BC
"It shows to be inspired from different stylistic models that are based on archaism, on classicism and elements derived from the late-hellenistic repertoire. Beyond the difficult assignment of the monument to a specific event, it seems certain, also considering the possibility of dating in the first century BC, that the work is to be connected to a triumphal monument of Silla, whose attention to the prestige of the Capitoline Hill is well documented by the construction, by his faithful, Quintus Lutatius Catulus of the grand palace of the Tabularium and the restoration of the temple of Jupiter" (Marina Bertoletti)
"Frieze of the College of Fabri Tignarii" carpenters that had built the roof of the Temple of Jupiter in the sixth century BC
"Head of Mars" Severian period (193/235 AD) from the original Greek of 420 BC by Alkamenes
"Arm, head and foot of a colossal acrolith of a goddess" 102 BC from the Temple of Fortuna Huiusce Diei. The head measures 1.46 meters (4.80 feet)
"Statue of a seated Muse" headless maybe from the scene of the Theatre of Pompey. The dimensions are elongated due to the high position that the statue had originally, an optical correction that favors a view from below, slightly offset to the side
"Antinous" depicted as Apollo of the Tiber
"Icarus" from an original of the fifth century BC
"Portrait of a Woman" late II/first half of the III AD
"Head of Apollo of the Kassel type" from a bronze original of the years 460/455 BC maybe by Phidias
"Parnopios" from original by Phidias (about 490/430 BC)
"Kyniskos" from original by Polykleitos of Argos (about 490/425 BC) for the athlete who won the Olympic Games in 460 BC
Gallery of emperors, empresses and famous people including:
"Male Portrait" mid third century AD
SALA CALDAIE (Boilers Hall)
Gardens, domus and imperial residences
HORTI SALLUSTIANI (Gardens of Sallust)
The large residential complex, formerly owned by Caesar and by the historian Sallust later passed to Sallust's nephew to merge in 20 AD in the imperial property. It spread over three large terraces surrounded by greenery in the area where the elegant Ludovisi district is now
Some high quality original Greek sculptures from temple buildings:
"Kneeling statue of an Amazon" late sixth century BC
"Acroter: Winged Victory" 480/460 BC decorative pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephoros at Eretria
In addition: marvelous "Friezes of acanthus ornaments with sphinxes" of the early Augustan period along with "Fragment of a colossal statue of Apollo" and "Military trophy" alluding to the victory of Augustus at Actium on Cleopatra and Anthony
"Statue of wounded Niobid" Antonine age (138/192) from the late Hellenistic original. It was part of the decoration of a Villa in Trastevere, on the slopes of the Janiculum Hill and Monteverde, where there were the Horti of Caesar later bequeathed to the Roman people and eventually administered by the Senate
"Group of satyr with a nymph" about 100 BC, a sculpture overflowing with disruptive and fresh sensuality, traumatically splendid. It was found in Trastevere, in the area between S. Crisogono e Piazza Mastai, nel 1889
"It captures echoes of earlier works: the position of the nymph squatting refers to Aphrodite and the muscles and the style of satyr to the figures of the frieze of the Altar of Pergamon. The scene represented in the group is perhaps intentionally ambiguous, it is unclear whether this is a rape or a game, what function it could have had or if it was probably - since it reflects well the Roman style - an ornamental piece intended for a Roman villa" (John Griffiths Pedley)
HORTI LICINIANI (Gardens of Licinius Gallienus)
Residence of Emperor Licinius Gallienus (253/268) including the so-called Temple of Minerva Medica
In the area some remarkable sculptures were found including "Two judges" triggering the races of the circus from the late fourth/early fifth century AD, depicting maybe Quintus Aurelius Symmachus and his son Memmius Symmachus
"Statue of a satyr dancing" and "Statue of Dionysus with a panther" from the original by Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD) of the fourth century BC
Not far away, at the Church of St. Bibiana, the remains of a "Great polychrome mosaic" were found representing the capture of wild animals (gazelles, bears and one wild boar) for shows at the amphitheaters
Also spectacular "Seated girl" of the Hadrian period from the original of Tyche of Antioch, the personification of the city, by Eutychides a pupil of Lysippus beginning of the third century BC: the celebrational dimensions are transformed here, however, into a sublime and intimate moment
HORTI SPEI VETERIS (Gardens of the old Temple of Hope)
Splendid "Statue of Muse identified as Polyhymnia" muse of hymns and mimicry from an original of the second century BC by Philiscus. It was found in 1928 in Via Terni
"Statue of great fascination for its fidelity to the original with the delicate handling of the drapery, the intensity of the gaze, in dealing with intangible incarnate and, above all, for the conservation condition of the marble surface that have preserved intact the original patina" (Maddalena Cima)
Via Ariosto (maybe Horti Lamiani)
Discovered in 1874. "Basin for fountain" with carvings of scrolls of acanthus and vine shoots from the second half of the first century BC
Polychrome statues with traces of paint and gilding:
"Young man with a short tunic"
"Headless torso of Athena Parthenos" from the original by Phidias (about 490/430 BC)
"Head of youth"
Work on the Subway in 1940 led to the discovery, at the corner of Via Cavour and Via di S. Maria Maggiore, of a few rooms in a house built in the Hadrian period. The rooms looked out onto an open space decorated with fountains
In the vestibule and in the large living room with marble floor four large sculptures, restored in antiquity were found: 
"Two statues of Pothos" nostalgic love for a distant person, from the original by Scopas
"Headless Roman general" in heroic nudity
"Satyr at rest" (Anapauòmenos) from the original of about 340 BC by Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD)
"The pace here is accentuated by the diagonal of the mantle, which descends from the right shoulder and crosses the bright naked torso, to shoot up behind the left side, raised because of the support the whole weight of the figure on the left leg. The success this kind of sculptures had throughout the Roman period, witnessed by the many copies left, shows how much the subject was appreciated, symbol of a primordial world, linked to Dionysus" (Giorgio Bejor)
At the end of the nineteenth century, opening a hole for the passage of the tram line in the Aurelian Walls at Porta San Lorenzo, an oldest architectural structure was discovered, maybe the back wall of a garden of the early imperial period
It was divided into niches lined with pumice, shells and a rough mosaic, which still retained the original sculptural decoration
"Group of satyrs" in the fight against a giant amphibian monster, inspired by the style of Pergamon
"Statuette of a Muse"
"Statuette of an athlete"
In early 1900s during excavations for the tunnel below the Quirinal Hill the remains of a house were found, attributed according to the inscriptions on lead piping to Fulvio Plautianus, praetorian prefect of Septimius Severus (193/211) killed by Caracalla (211/217) in 205. The sculptures were found still in place in the rooms paved with mosaics and marble:
Beautiful "Statue of Priapus" of the Augustan period, a true masterpiece of sculptural virtuosity with its incredibly thin folds of the drapery
"Headless male statue"
"Portrait maybe Macrinus (217/218)"
"Two male busts" that may represent the same character and maybe the homeowner succeeded to Fulvio Plautianus
"Head of a strategist" with helmet from which his hair comes out deeply sculpted like the beard, creating a beautiful contrast with the shiny skin of the face
"Bust of Lucilla with a diadem"
"Four plates embossed with masks"
From the Salaria Gate area "Funeral Altar of Sulpicius Maximus" the poet-child who died at 11 after winning the Capitoline certamen (poetry competition) in 94 AD
"Cippus tomb of Gaius Julius Elio" rich shoemaker of the Flavian period depicted in heroic nudity, found Via Leone IV in the necropolis of the Via Triumphalis
The main phases of the vast necropolis discovered near the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in use from the late Republican through the end of the fourth century are illustrated. It is in part still visible in the middle of the road today
Portraits of the dead, funerary altars ("Herm of Dionysus young"), urns ("Urns Ciartia gens"), sarcophagi and sepulchral stones ("Monumental sarcophagus punctuated by niches with a knight in the center" made in Asia Minor and imported to Rome)

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