Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Sala degli Animali


Opened at the time of Pius IV Medici (1559/65) and duplicated in about 1776 by Michelangelo Simonetti (1724/87) for Pius VI Braschi (1775/99) with animal sculptures made from scratch or imaginatively and wantonly restored by Francesco Antonio Franzoni (1734/1818) from Carrara

“He excelled both in the subjects of new inventions and in those inspired by the reinstatement of ancient fragments, of which he often changed the whole original aspect, giving them strongly realistic and almost obsessive and self-indulging connotations. This drama and paroxysm seems to spring from the suggestive reading of the treatise 'On the nature of the animals' by Claudio Eliano. Franzoni's work is unequaled in the achievements of sculpture of all time. The Animal Room was configured as a sort of ghostly bestiary made with a sample of the most rare colored stones from antiquity, in the spirit of encyclopedic cataloging, and ended up being, with his eccentric collection, one of the highlights of the museum, the pride of Pius VI, the generous promoter” (Caterina Napoleone)

In the floor of the side wings “Two colorful mosaic” with still lives in panels of the fourth century AD

“Meleager with dog and boar's head” about 150 AD from the original of the fourth century BC by Skopas
“Colossal head of a camel” formerly the mouth of a fountain
Extraordinary group “Marine Centaur with nereid and cupids” maybe a late Hellenistic original
On the wall two small mosaics with micro tiles of exceptional quality from Villa Adriana in Tivoli: “Bulls attacked by a lion” and “Browsing goats”
“Crab” in rare green porphyry marble

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