Friday, October 31, 2014



Founded in 1771 by Pope Clement XIV Ganganelli (1769/74) who, like Pius VI Braschi (1775/99) after him, enriched the collection of sculptures begun at the time of Julius II Della Rovere (1503/13) in the Octagonal Courtyard

Clement XIV asked Alessandro Dori (active in Roma since 1744/d. 1772) and, after Dori's death, Michelangelo Simonetti (1724/87) to adapt the premises of the Palace of Innocent VIII Cybo (1484/92) which had been built in about 1487 by Giacomo da Pietrasanta

Clement XIV succumbed to Enlightenment and Absolutism in Europe and in 1773 he was virtually forced to suppress the Jesuit Order under the pressure of the European monarchies: maybe it's a coincidence, but no pope chose the name Clement ever again
He was buried first at St. Peter's Basilica and in 1802 his body was moved to the Basilica of the Holy Apostles in a monument by Antonio Canova

Pius VI ordered the construction of new rooms and unfortunately during these works frescoes by Pinturicchio, and Andrea Mantegna were lost

The architects wanted to quote and imitate Roman buildings such as the Pantheon in the Sala Rotonda (Round Room) or thermal rooms in the Sala a Croce Greca (Greek Cross Room)
When Michelangelo Simonetti died in 1787, Pius VI gave the job of finishing the project to Giuseppe Camporese (1763/1822), who reversed the museum route with a new access from the Greek Cross Room. That's why over the portal to the Round Room there is the sign Museum Pium and on the portal to the Square Vestibule there is the sign Museum Clementinum

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