Monday, November 3, 2014

VATICAN MUSEUMS - PIUS CLEMENTINUS MUSEUM - Square Vestibule, Round Vestibule, Cabinet of the Apoxyòmenos

Vestibolo Quadrato

Decorations by Daniele da Volterra (1509/66) painted for the bon vivant Julius III Ciocchi Del Monte (1550/55), who used this room as a pleasure fountain

On the right “Bust of Pope Clement XIV” founder of the Museo Pio Clementino

On the left “Tomb of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus” consul in 298 BC, from the Tomb of the Scipios on the Appian Way
It is made of peperino stone and it is influenced by the early Hellenistic style

Vestibolo Rotondo

Pavonazzetto marble is white with dark purple veins, like the peacock's tail. It is also known as Phrygian marble, as it comes from Phrygia, Turkey

From the balcony, in the rare cases where it is open, it is possible to see the unique “Galera Fountain” a lead model of a seventeenth-century galleon with cannons pouring water

Gabinetto dell’Apoxyòmenos

“Apoxyomenos” copy of the time of Claudius (41/54) from the bronze original by Lysippus (about 370/300 a.C.) of about 340/320 BC
It was found in 1849 in Vicolo delle Palme (Alley of the Palm Trees) in the Trastevere district, since then known as Vicolo dell'Atleta (Alley of the Athlete)
It is the only copy in the world of the masterpiece by Lysippus restored by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)

The weight is on the left leg but the right is still active and this produces a sense of imbalance and instability that give a strong impression of forward movement
When Lysippus was asked who was his favorite model, he used to reply, pointing to passersby: “These!”, indicating his interest in aspects of daily life

“The artist no longer takes care to represent the figure of the athlete freezing the action in the key moment of its development. He tends rather to grasp life in its becoming, in any given instant, and in a pose almost casual, lessening the force of the visual impact but producing different evocative effects and decidedly breaking the pattern of frontality” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

“The figure appears to extend into space to get to win, more than it had been dared in the past, the third dimension. The artist has thus opted for a brief moment, seemingly unimportant, as part of everyday life in the gym, and was inspired to try a new spacial solution in a totally innovative way. It seems that Lysippus wanted to apply his own rules, which he had codified, in this statue, adapting the rules of Polykleitos to the new demands of movement, expression, of elegance, which had been developing during the fourth century BC. With the new proportions indicated by Lysippus, the figures are less compact and powerful, so basically more humane, more slender, with smaller and sunken eyes, so the more expressive, along the lines of the contemporary Skopas” (George Bejor)

On the walls are inserted some important ancient inscriptions including some “Archaic Latin inscriptions” from the Tomb of the Scipios

Near the window “Ara Casali” II second or third century AD with representation of the origins of Rome

“Plaque” commemorating the fact that Leonardo da Vinci lived here in the Belvedere Palace for seventeen months, from September 1513 to January 1515


“Relief with warship” from Palestrina

“Funerary monument with niche” first century AD from Todi

From the room behind the cabinet it is possible to see the “Spiral Stairway of Donato Bramante (1444/1514)” early 1500s

“After meeting with Julius II, already in Belvedere but especially in St. Peter's, Bramante, now in his sixties, was engaged in an effort of renewal that has few parallels in the history of architecture. The 'grand manner' of the 1500s was born to which henceforth will refer directly followers and successors. Contemporaries and scholars in the 1500s - Raphael, Serlio, Vasari, Palladio, etc. - referring to the Roman works, that, together with the ancient ones, will be proposed as a model for architects, agree, using almost the same words, in judging Bramante as 'inventor and light of good and true architecture'. The pope appointed him, no one knows exactly in which year, general superintendent of all the buildings and papal 'engineer' in the service of his military exploits” (Arnaldo Bruschi - Dizionario Enciclopedico degli Italiani Treccani)

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