Friday, January 20, 2012

Capitoline Museums - In Depth Description

Here's an excerpt from my forthcoming super comprehensive guide book about Rome.
It will be called ROMAPEDIA.

The first edition was published in Italian as "Guida di Roma e provincia" in 2011 and the new enlarged edition is due to be released in 2014.
There will also be an edition in English available.
It is a work of synthesis and anthology of the most authoritative sources of facts and reliable information about the art of Rome and its Province.

It is an encyclopedic dictionary with 1,329 entries, including 483 churches, 278 palaces, and 152 museums.

It also includes a profusion of artistically or historically relevant buildings, monuments, archaeological sites as well as 95 towns in the province of Rome, constituting one of the richest sources of information available in a single book about the art and history of the Eternal City.

You can check out for free the first 63 pages of the first edition with this link:

My new ROMAPEDIA blog with the most complete encyclopedia about the art and history of Rome and its surroundings is being published. New entries are being added everyday. Here is the link:

Capitoline Museums
Since 1471, the oldest museum in the world open to the public
It was an idea of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471/84) who donated to the people four bronze statues and displayed them publicly. So the modern concept of "museum" was born
The museum expanded with Leo X Medici (1513/21) and Pius V Ghislieri (1566/72)
Clement XII Corsini (1730/40) in 1734 inaugurated the Palazzo Nuovo (New Palace) built specifically as a museum, another new thing: it was the first time a building was built to house works of art visible to everyone, not just to the private owners of the building and their guests
It was expanded again with Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58) and between 1748 and 1750 the Pinacoteca Capitolina (Art Gallery) was opened, the oldest public collection of paintings in the world. The British Museum in London was opened in 1753 and the Louvre in Paris only in 1793
There were other additions after 1870 when Rome became the capital of Italy
In 2005 the last renovation called "Grande Campidoglio" (Great Capitol Hill) was completed. It lasted nearly a decade and was designed by the Dardi and Einaudi Studios, and, for the Roman Garden, by Carlo Aymonino (1926/2010)
A very articulated museum was therefore created, with the acquisition of new exhibition spaces, the reorganization of some areas and the reopening of closed sections with new exhibitions
The museum was also enlarged with the public opening of the Tabularium, connected to the other buildings through the Gallery Junction, the restoration of Palazzo Caffarelli and the acquisition of Palazzo Clementino, formerly used for offices
With the latest additions the museum cover an area of about 10,000 m² (108,000 square feet)
In 2008 it was visited by 452,232 people, still too few for one of the most beautiful and exciting museums in the whole world
Palace of the Conservatives
Maybe XII century, rebuilt in mid-1400
From 1563 restoration of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) which was continued in 1564 by Guidetto Guidetti (about 1498/1564) and then by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) until 1568
In 1720 Alessandro Specchi (1668/1729) worked on the porch
The now embedded pointed arches still visible on the right side gave access to a large room, the statuario (statuary), the first nucleus of the museum of ancient art
On the right end side "Colossal Head of Constantine" (306/337) found in 1486 with the other eight fragments of the body visible in the courtyard (one hand, two feet, parts of the arms) in the small apse on the west side of the Basilica of Maxentius
It was reshaped from an older portrait, maybe of the deified Hadrian in the Temple of Venus and Rome or of his rival Maxentius and it was part of a acrolith 12 m (40 feet) high
An acrolith was a massive statue with the trunk of the figure made of wood, and the head, hands, and feet made of marble. The wood was concealed either by drapery or by gilding and only the marble parts were exposed to view. Just like all of the statues of antiquity it was painted with bright colors
"The colossal dimension confirm the willingness to spread the image of a superhuman power, distant and unreachable, the details, even realistic, stiffen in a forced symmetry and the expression, the attitude is frozen in an immobility inert, almost hieratic , which recalls the ancient stillness of Eastern portraiture" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Under the portico "Statue of Rome" also known as Roma Cesi between "Barbarian kings prisoners" in grey morato marble dating back to the Hadrian period (117/138) from the Cesi collection, purchased for the museum by Clement XI Albani (1700/21)
"Reliefs of the provinces subject to Rome" from the cell of the Temple of Hadrian
Behind the reliefs of provinces "Hand with finger pointing up" similar to the one on the opposite side of the courtyard. It was found near the church of S. Maria della Consolazione and Filippo Coarelli believes it to be part of the acrolith of Augustus (27 BC/14 AD) in the temple dedicated to him. It is a right hand like that of Constantine with finer workmanship and it would be therefore the original imitated three hundred years later for Constantine's acrolith
Embedded in the wall "Dedicatory inscription of the Arch of Claudius" (41/54) originally on Via del Corso, which celebrates the conquest of Britain
Stuccos on the ceiling with panels "Stories of Rome" and "Stories of the Old and New testament"1575 di Luzio Luzi (about 1509/77) pupil of Perin del Vaga
In the first landing
Two statues of muses: "Urania" muse of astronomy and geometry and "Talia" muse of comedy of the Augustan period from originals of the third century BC
"Portrait of a man" of the Hadrian period (117/138)
"Bust of Athena" from an original of the fourth century BC
Reliefs embedded in the years 1572/73:
"Three reliefs of Marcus Aurelius" (161/180) about 176/180. They probably come from an official monument, maybe an arch dedicated to Marcus Aurelius. Eight other reliefs from the same monument were reused for the Arch of Constantine. From left:
"Mercy" with a gesture of appeasement identical to that of the famous bronze monument
"Victory" with a woman representing Victory crowning him and the Temple of Fortuna. There's an empty space beside him on the chariot due to the cancellation of the image of his son Commodus, who was emperor associated with his father at the time but, after his death, would receive the damnatio memoriae or deletion of all his images
"Religiosity" religious ceremony at the end of the triumph in front of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. On the left the man with the beard is the Genius of the Senate and on the right the building represented is maybe the Tensarium or"garage" for the tensae, a kind of sacred rickshaws used in religious ceremonies
"Entrance of Hadrian in Rome" one of the "Three reliefs of Hadrian" from the Arch of Portugal on Via del Corso. Two of these three reliefs were definitely reused for the Arch of Portugal, and maybe originally came from the arch near the entrance to the Temple of Hadrian, from which the third one definitely came
The other two reliefs of Hadrian are in the second landing, "Address by Hadrian in the Forum" and, in the THIRD landing, "Apotheosis of Sabina"
Also in the third landing:
"Two inlaid marble panels with tigers" of 331 in opus sectile (inlaid marble) from the Basilica of Junius Bassus
"Youth Male Torso" in red marble from an original of the fifth century BC
"Sarcophagus with marine thiasos (Bacchus parade) and inscription of Promotus" first half of the third century AD
"Inscription" IV/V century AD
To the right of the entrance to the room "Inscription of Sixtus IV" Della Rovere (1471/84) with the act of foundation of the Capitoline Museums in 1471
"Monument to Charles of Anjou" about 1277 Arnolfo di Cambio (about 1245/1302) part of a complex architectural structure, perhaps an honorary monument
Worked as a relief and originally painted with bright colors and decorated with gilding, it was anchored to the wall about two meters (6,5 feet) off the ground, framed by a trefoil arch flanked by two figures in relief of trumpeters
Another fragment of the monument is in the room. Charles of Anjou sits on a faldistorio, a foldable throne without back and with lion heads
"The compact structure of volumes indicates the limit of assimilation of ancient culture by the artist, who comes to a noble archaic form, not separated by a tangible sense of concreteness" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Four "Measures for wine, oil and grains" (called "congi") of the thirteenth century. They were found in Piazza del Campidoglio and they were originally used in the market that used to be held in the square
At the center of the room "Table with scenes from the life of Achilles" reused in the cosmatesque decoration of a pulpit of the church of St. Maria dell'Aracoeli: table of the fourth century AD, cosmatesque panel of the thirteenth century maybe by Lorenzo di Tebaldo with his son Jacopo
"Colossal head of Constantius II (337/361) or Constans" beginning of the fourth century. They were the sons of Costantine
First and most important of the boardrooms of the so-called Appartamento dei Conservatori (Conservatives' Apartment) for the judiciary of the Conservatives that had a central role in the municipal structure since mid-1300s
Here meetings were held of the Public Council and of the Secret Council
In this room on March 25, 1957 the Treaty of Rome, the Treaty establishing the European Community, was signed by representatives from Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. It was the founding act of the European Union
In this room on October 29, 2004 the Constitution for Europe was also signed by representatives of 25 countries, abandoned in 2009 after the referendums in France and the Netherlands that have rejected it
Door with panels richly carved in 1643 with "Scenes of the foundation of Rome" by G.B. Olivieri and Giovanni Maria Giorgetti
Frescoes "Episodes of the beginnings of Rome":
They were designed as imitations of tapestries with in the lower part of the wall, monochrome medallions painted in faux marble representating "Stories of Rome" in connection with the frescoes above
"His painting, in its lovely and erotic-sentimental tendency is between Mannerism and Baroque, and at the same time, exemplary of the ceremonial-representative art at the time of Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605)" (Herwarth Roettgen - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Marble "Statue of Urban VIII" Barberini (1623/44) 1635/39 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) and assistants
"It was designed by making some significant variations to the model of the great bronze statue of the pontiff made, between 1628 and 1631, for the tomb in the Basilica of St. Peter. If the busy draping of the cope and the robe edged with lace recalls the bronze in the Vatican, the larger gesture with the ample movement of arms and hands, combined with the slight turn of the head, softens the peremptory gesture, returning the marble effigy to a warm aura of urbanity" (Guide to the Capitoline Museums - 2007 Electa)
Bronze "Statue of Innocent X" Pamphilj (1644/55) 1645/50 by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654)
"Instead of suppressing the detailed features as Bernini did, his pope was represented with meticulous care and it is, indeed, a masterpiece of portraiture. Algardi did not accept the hieratic frontality Bernini's Urban VIII. He turned the statue in a more benevolent attitude towards the left; he subsided considerably the long diagonal of the papal hood and turned an energetic and imperious gesture in a movement of countenance and rest. He weakened the power of the blessing arm with the decorative and linear folds of the mantle, while Bernini emphasized the gesture of blessing pushing the arm forward in the space of the spectator" (Rudolf Wittkower)
Coffered ceiling with painted canvas representing "Episodes of the poem La Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Delivered)" maybe by Francesco Allegrini (1587/1663). They were transferred here after 1930 from Palazzo Mattei Paganica before the destruction of the wing where they were originally located
In the center of the room "Basin of fountain" dating back to the imperial period in red marble from the Esquiline Hill
Frescoes on the walls with "Episodes of the Roman Republic":
"Justice of Brutus", "Horatius Cocles at the Sublicius Bridge", "Muzio Scaevola before Porsena" and "Battle of Lake Regillo" 1587/94 by the Sicilian Tommaso Laureti (about 1530/1602) pupil of Sebastiano del Piombo who also conceived with Giambologna, the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna
"Laureti composed here vast scenes inspired by theater, drawing on both the Raphael Rooms and the work of Giulio Romano and increasing the dynamism of the images with bold foreshortening and intense chromaticism. In 1593 the Laureti was among the artists who founded together with Federico Zuccari the Academy of St. Luke and he even succeeded in 1594 to Zuccari as the prince of the Academy. His teaching focused mainly on the tecnique of perspective" (Monica Grasso - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
"Female Bust" about 390 AD
"Funerary Memorial of Virginio Cesarini" 1624 with a beautiful portrait attributed to Bernini or François Duquesnoy
Five statues of Captains of the Church:
"Marco Antonio Colonna" ancient statue restored in 1595 with the appearance of the winner of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571
"Alessandro Farnese" 1593 with head sculpted by Ippolito Buzio (1578/1659) and ancient body
"Gianfrancesco Aldobrandini" and "Tommaso Rospigliosi" by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)
"Carlo Barberini" 1630 with head sculpted by Bernini, arms and legs by Algardi and ancient torso
Ceiling 1568 by Flaminio Bolonger
Frieze "Triumph of the consul Lucius Aemilius Paulus over Perseus king of Macedonia in 167 BC" as described by Plutarch about 1570 Michele Alberti (active 1535/82) and Jacopo Rocchetti pupils of Daniele da Volterra
A magnificent procession accompanying the winner to the Capitol Hill, where, instead of the Temple of Jupiter where traditionally triumphal processions ended at, it is recognizable the new façade of the Palace of the Conservatives that it was being built in those years
"Portrait of a Man" fourth or third century BC, believed to be Junius Brutus the founder of the Roman Republic in 509 BC. Spectacular example of Roman portraiture, featuring marvellous and intense expressionism
"Camillus" classical work of the Augustan age, representing a young man employed during devotional rites (Camillus)
"Spinario" first century BC maybe representing Martius, a shepherd from Vitorchiano, who walked 90 km (56 miles) to warn the Romans of the arrival of an enemy army. A thorn stuck in his foot and after he raised the alarm, he died of the wound. This is maybe the oldest copy of the various existing (Uffizi, Louvre, British Museum, Pushkin Museum), whose head is probably not relevant and it was united to the body in the first century BC, as one would think looking at the hair defying the laws of gravity
On the walls:
"Victory of Alexander the Great over Darius" 1635 by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669)
"St. Frances of Rome" 1638 by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62) from Viterbo, a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
"St. Francis adoring the dead Christ" 1641 by Paolo Piazza (1557/1621)
"Front of sarcophagus" of the third century AD
At the center of the room:
"Bronze Crater of Mithridates VI Eupator" 120/63 BC found the Villa of Nero at Anzio in 1740, part of the spoils from the war against Mithridates in Turkey
Coffered wooden ceiling of 1865
"Mosaic Floor" of the first century AD found in 1893 in Via Nazionale
Frescoes on the left "Triumph of Aemilius Paulus" and on the right "Campaign against the Tolostobogi" 1508/13 by artists from the workshop of Jacopo Ripanda
"Two plaques in honor of Alessandro Farnese and Marcantonio Colonna"
Until the seventeenth century the room was an open loggia and certainly by the sixteenth century there was the bronze statue "Capitoline She-Wolf" believed until recently to have come from Magna Grecia (Southern Italy ruled by Greek) and to be dating back to the V century BC. It is certainly NOT Roman
The scholars that have restored it believe, on the other hand, with good evidence that it is a medieval statue, probably of the XII century AD: not only for the fact that a single casting of bronze, as this piece is made, was not practiced in ancient times (it was used the lost wax casting of various pieces of the statue assembled later) or that the position of the muzzle in all other iconographic representations is always turned backward, but also, and above all, for the analysis using carbon-14 in 2011 that convinced even the skeptics
The twins were added only in the fifteenth century maybe by the Florentine Antonio Benci aka Antonio del Pollaiuolo (about 1432/98)
The documentary evidence tell us that the true symbol of ancient Rome was the EAGLE and in the Middle Ages the symbol became the lion. Only by the end of 1400s the she-wolf became the symbol of Rome
The walls enclosing architecture of Michelangelo Buonarroti "Fragments of consular and triumphal pomp" engraved in the disappeared Parthian Arch of Augustus of 19 BC in the Forum with a list of Consuls from 483 to 19 BC in the panels and a list of Triumphs from 753 to 19 BC in the pilasters
It is a document of inestimable importance for the reconstruction of the history of ancient Rome and it can be considered the most important Latin inscription in the world
Michelangelo had placed it in the courtyard of the palace and it was moved here in 1586
Ceiling and frieze of the time of Paul III Farnese (1534/49) with "Trophies of arms, flowers and fruit, and grotesque decorations" alternate with "Small scenes of ancient Roman games" set in landscapes sometimes real, sometimes fantastic. In one of these the Capitoline Hill Piazza before Michelangelo's modifications is visible with S. Maria in Ara Coeli in the background
"Head of Medusa" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680). The dating of this masterpiece is debated and it is has been inserted sometime between the years 1630 and 1648 
"The classical myth is revisited in the light of a poem by G.B. Marino: Medusa is looking at her reflection into an imaginary mirror, and she is caught in the moment when, with pain and anguish, she becomes aware of the horrible trick and physically, before our eyes, she turns into marble. Medusa, in Bernini's idea, is a fine Baroque metaphor for sculpture and the power of the sculptor who can leave 'petrified' in amazement those who admire the extraordinary ability of his chisel" (Guide to the Capitoline Museums - 2007 Electa)
"In an essay reworked by Irving Lavin (...) the scholar (...), with unpublished reflections, establishes a closer link between the bust of Constanza Bonarelli, sculpted between 1636 and 1638, and that of Medusa, maybes designed by Bernini as a moral counterpart of the first, both anyway designed as a personal reflection of the artist, and both later donated or sold to others by Bernini himself. According to this new hypothesis the dating of the Bust of Medusa might be slightly predated to the end of the thirties of the seventeenth century" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"Bust of Michelangelo Buonarroti" copy of the one by Daniele da Volterra (1509/66) in the National Museum of Florence, a bronze bust of bigio marble
Ceiling mid-1500s and frieze in panels and medallions about 1544 maybe by Cristofano Gherardi (1508/56) with interesting "Scenes of Rome's monuments" including a view of the Capitol Square with the statue of Marcus Aurelius moved there in 1538
"Statue in marble and bronze of Artemis of Ephesus" from an original of the second century BC: symbol of fruitful nature even though, according to Filippo Coarelli, the breasts are in reality scrotums of bulls
"Statuette of Athena Velletri type" Roman copy of the original of the fifth century BC
"Statuette of an eagle" early imperial period
"Herm of Socrates" first century AD from the original by Lysippus
Ceiling mid-1500s and frieze in panels about 1544 with "Stories of Scipio Africanus" and "Monochromes of famous ancient sculptures" including the Laocoon, Apollo Belvedere, and Hercules in gilded bronze
In 1770 the room was renovated to house the papal throne
Tapestries with "Stories from the History of Rome":
"Romulus and Remus as painted by Rubens" from the painting in the Capitoline's Museums art gallery, "Roma Cesi" from the statue kept in the courtyard of the Palace of the Conservatives, "Vestal Tuccia" and "Bad Teacher of Falerii" 1764/68 from cartons by Domenico Corvi (1721/1803) from Viterbo woven in the factory of the Hospice of St. Michael
It is the only room of the fifteenth century apartment that wasn't changed or modified
Wooden ceiling 1516/19, the oldest of the Palace, with in the center "She-wolf suckling the twins" used as a decorative element and, for the first time, as a symbolic reference to the origins of the city
Frescoes "Stories of the Punic Wars" first decade of the 1500s traditionally attributed to Jacopo Ripanda (about 1465/1516) and assistants, but the attribution is quite disputed among scholars
 These frescoes are the only ones surviving from the first complete decorative cycle of the building, which was also present in the other rooms of the apartment
"Bronze Horse from Vicolo delle Palme" discovered in 1849 during an excavation in Trastevere during which the Apoxyòmenos now in the Vatican Museums was found as well
Recently restored after having been neglected for a long time. It is considered by some to be a Roman copy from an original of the fourth century BC, by others an extraordinary Greek original of the fourth century BC
Filippo Coarelli deemed it part of the "Turma Alexandri" an original work by Lysippus (about 370/300) who had represented Alexander the Great and twenty-five ethers (barons and small local rulers who ruled the mountainous areas of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia) on horseback, died during the battle of the Granicus in 334 BC. The group was made for the sanctuary of Dion in Macedonia and was brought to Rome by Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus after his conquest of 146 BC in Macedonia
It is one of the rare examples of ancient large bronze statues still extant. Magnificent natural dynamism and tension for an incredible ancient masterpiece full of epic and Homeric suggestions
It was deconsecrated and closed at the end of 1800s
It was renovated and rebuilt in 2000. It is dedicated to the Virgin and the Sts. Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome
In the vault stuccos and frescos "Stories of Sts. Peter and Paul" 1575/78 Michele Alberti (active 1535/82) e Jacopo Rocchetti pupils of Daniele da Volterra
Altar "Sts. Peter and Paul ask Our Lady to protect the city of Rome" on a blackboard 1578 by Marcello Venusti (1510/79)
"Frontal of the altar" elaborately inlaid with precious marbles with bees of Urban VIII Barberini (1623/44)
On either side frescoes of saints: "Evangelists" and "Cecilia", "Alexis", "Eustachius" and "Blessed Ludovica Albertoni" 1645/48 maybe by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62)
On the long wall opposite the window, to cover a golden grating formerly communicating with the adjacent Room of the Captains, fresco "Madonna and Child" maybe by Andrea di Assisi or Antonio da Viterbo, from the fifteenth century loggia of the palace
Some 700 artifacts from Etruria, Latium and Magna Graecia dating from the eighth to the fourth century BC donated in 1867 and in 1876 by Augusto Castellani (1829/1914) goldsmith, collector and director of the Capitoline Museums since 1873
"Red-figure Attic kylix with athlete who draws water from a well" first three decades of the fifth century BC in the style of the Painter of Onesimos. The kylix was a cup to drink wine just like we do now from glasses
"Red-figure Attic kylix with pentathlete seen from behind" first three decades of the fifth century BC in the style of the painter of Onesimos
Production of Etruscan Latium region including objects from the so-called Castellani Tomb of Palestrina not really coming, however, from a single tomb: "Biconical bronze" and "Reconstruction of cyst" in silver last thirty years of the eighth century BC
"Oenochoe of Tragliatella" (wine jug) Etruscan-Corinthian, last thirty years of the seventh century BC, found near Lake Bracciano. The polychrome paintings on the oenochoe represent men, women and animals with meanings not entirely clarified, maybe connected to the myth of Theseus and Ariadne
Greek manufacturing objects, including terracotta "Crater with blinding of Polyphemus and naval battle" about seventh century BC signed by Aristonothos
"The intense westward diaspora of families fleeing the Eastern Assyrian pressure had created the conditions for new techniques and iconographic languages were learned directly from Greek masters from the East. The assimilation is not naturally free of trauma and lacerations, the order of the Geometric age is overwhelmed by the furious Eastern trend of narrative matrix, whose more violent and dark contents are, however, gradually exorcised, smoothed and eventually rejected. The clash between figurative Greek order and Eastern monstrosities is expressed clearly in the Greek stories of struggle" (Claudia Lambrugo)
"Terracotta statuette of a seated dignitary" second half of the seventh century BC from the Tomb of the five chairs in Cerveteri
Huge "Fragment of a bronze bull" found in 1849 during an excavation in Trastevere together with the Apoxyòmenos of the Vatican Museums and the bronze horse from Vicolo delle Palme in the Hall of Hannibal. This is probably an original Greek piece of the fourth century BC just like the horse
"Bas-reliefs from the tomb of dogs in Tolfa" in gray tuff, first half of the sixth century BC
"Reconstruction of a tensa" with stories of Achilles in the relief, maybe of the fourth century AD. It was rebuilt by Castellani, who made very subjective reconstructive choices believing it to be a chariot. It was actually a tensa, a kind of rickshaw used during sacred processions in antiquity, so that near the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus there was a building known as Tensarium used as a "garage" for these vehicles
Objects from the archaeological section of about 300 objects from the Collection of the Museum of Industrial Art dispersed in the 50s of the twentieth century among various museums: figurative ceramics of Greek production, buccheri, terracotta statuettes, antefixes from Campania region and silver objects from Boscoreale
Embedded in the walls inscriptions with the names of the civic magistrates in Rome from 1640 until today
Two "Athletes of Velletri" from originals of the second half of the fifth century BC, found in a villa in Arriano, near Velletri
"Erma of Apollo" from original of the fifth century BC
"Fluted column" of marine alabaster
"Statue of an old shepherd" from the Esquiline Hill
Gallery of the Gardens
Findings from the Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills during the construction work for the expansion of Rome at the end of 1800s
The archeologists found, among other things, 192 marble statues, 266 busts and heads, 54 polychrome mosaics, 36,679 pieces of gold, silver and bronze 705 amphora with inscriptions, 405 works of art in bronze, 711 gems, engraved stones and cameos
Many of the statues were found inserted in pieces in late ancient walls, used as construction material
Lamian Gardens
Between Piazza Vittorio, Viale Manzoni and Via Merulana
Property of Lucius Aelius Lamia consol in 3 AD and friend of Tiberius (14/37)
They became imperial property and were inhabited by Caligula (37/41)
The Lancellotti Discobolus, now at the Palazzo Massimo, was also found here as well as the Aldobrandini Wedding painting, now in the Vatican Museums, one of the most beautiful and best preserved ancient paintings
room I
Very valuable original Greek pieces of the fourth century BC found in 1907 in Piazza Dante:
Two Greek funerary stelae, one with "Woman Sitting Down" and one with "Woman Standing"
"Group of the Ephedrismòs" with two girls, one on the shoulders of the other during a game of leapfrog, 
The group dell'Ephedrismòs is a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture of a piercing beauty and sensuality, so full of dynamism and with drapery rendered in such a way to be able to compete in virtuosic beauty, if not in size, with the "Nike of Samothrace" the great icon of Hellenistic sculpture in the Louvre in Paris
Although the original colors are lost the virtuosistic treatment of the marble, however, manages to distinguish the heavier draped garnments from the lighter ones of the two admittedly skimpy dressed young girls
The group was probably originally used as acroterion, a element placed on roof of buildings. According to an interesting hypothesis by Georgios Despinis it was brought to Rome as war booty from the city of Tegea in Greece
The Ephedrismòs game consisted in hitting with a ball a rock stuck in the ground: those who had not succeeded had to take on their shoulders the winners who would cover the losers' eyes until the latter had not reached the stone
Room II
Part of the extraordinary "Floor of alabaster" from the disappeared Villa Palombara, which at the time of the discovery appeared about 80 m (260 feet) long
"Fragments of precious furniture": gems, crystals and gold plated metal sheets
Room III
"Esquiline Venus" first century AD, maybe a portrait of Cleopatra or Isis-Aphrodite product of religious syncretism of Hellenistic Egypt. Extraordinary sensuality on the movement of the legs and lateral torsion of the body mitigated, however, by the classicist style used for the impassive face
"Diadoumenos" from an original of about 430 BC by Polykleitos of Argos (about 490/425 BC)
"Here Polykleitos exacerbates the characteristics of the Doryphorus: the center of gravity is no longer on one leg but in the middle between the two, the modeling is more subtle, the rhythms are more complex and an idea of marble coloring is present in the face and especially in the hair" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"Head of a satyr" believed by some scholars to be dating back tothe Tiberian period (14/37), and by others, like Filippo Coarelli, an original of early second century BC by an artist of the school of Pargamum. The marble is Asian and it wouldn't have made sense to use this kind of marble in the first century AD in Rome where there were far better kind of marble available. Bernini never saw this statue which surpasses even his most flamboyant works for its outstanding baroque expressionism
"The almost animalistic features of the face rendered with extraordinary effectiveness, the study exaggerated in the rendering of the features expressively tormented, are similar characteristics to the ones visible in the heads of the group of Polyphemus at Sperlonga, especially that of Ulysses. Maybe the same patron presided over the creation of this group of works, created with a declared similarity to Hellenistic art from Rhodes and Pergamum: Tiberius, owner of the villa at Sperlonga and heir of the Aelii Lamiae property" (Guide to the Capitoline Museums - 2007 Electa)
"If Adrian with the theme of contrast between light and smooth parts of the face and the chiaroscuro of the animated short beard and hair is balanced by the strong classical matrix, with Marcus Aurelius and even more with Commodus, the almost frenetic pace of the masses of hair and beard, longer and longer, becomes the dominant feature, which wants to convey the idea of strength and vigor of the monarch, represented, not surprisingly as Hercules" (Gian Luca Grassigli - TMG)
"Statue of woman with chiton" in marble from Paros inspired to the early Hellenistic style
Taurian and Vettian Gardens
Via Labicana, Viale Manzoni
Property of senator Statilius Taurus
They became imperial property in 53 at the time of Claudius (41/54)
In 368 they became eventually property of the Praefectus Urbi (Superintendent of the city) Vettius Agorius Praetextatus
"Statue maybe of Igea" first century BC with bracelet and beautiful armilla on the left arm
"Bust of a goddess" maybe Artemis from an original of the fourth century BC by Kephisodotos
"Sarcophagus with the myth of the Caledonian Boar" from Vicovaro in Proconnesian marble
"Statue of cow" maybe a copy from the famous original of Myron from Eleutere (about 500/440 BC) for the Acropolis in Athens and brought to Rome at the time of Vespasian (69/79)
Three neo-Attic reliefs: "Landscape with a sanctuary" "Quadriga of Helios" and "Quadriga of Selene" running after each other
"Draped female statue" second century BC in pentelic marble, an original Greek statue from the Magna Graecia (Southern Italy)
ROOM VI - Gallery
"Genius of Domitian" in marble of Thasos
"Female Statue with a different head of the Faustina the Elder type"
"Legs of a Roman soldier" beginning of first century AD in pentelic marble
"Relief with Eros" without head in Synnada marble from Hadrian's period
"Base with four Greyhounds" in Luni (Carrara) marble maybe for a bronze decorative element
"Portrait of Man" first half of the III century with bust in alabaster not original
"Portrait of Child" in Greek marble
"Portrait of Woman" Severian period (193/235) in Luni marble with typical hairdo fashionable at that time
Imperial portraits:
"Adrian" (117/138)" between his wife "Sabina" and his mother in law "Matidia" whom he transformed onto a goddess
"Faustina the Elder"
"Domitian" (81/96) perhaps the finest extant portrait of this emperor who reigned for 15 years and who had, after hisdeath, the damnatio memoriae, or the cancellation of his images. This is why his portraits are quite rare and ruined like this one
Maecenas Gardens
Via Merulana, Via Buonarroti
The area was reclaimed and became the sumptuous home of Maecenas in 40 BC. He was the first to colonize the Esquiline Hill as the place for luxury homes
It used to be the site of an ancient cemetery
The villa became imperial property by the first decade AD
Of all the structure only the so-called Auditorium in Via Merulana still exists today
"Hermes" with portraits of writers
"Rhytòn shaped Fountain" (a Rhytòn was a cone shaped container for drinking) end of the first century BC, signed by the Greek Pontios
"Head of an Amazon" from the original of the fifth century BC by Polykleitos
"Statue of Marsyas" from an original of the second century BC in pavonazzetto marble in order to imitate the flayed skin
"Relief with Dionysian initiation scene" from an original of the second century BC
Group of "Charioteer and horse" Roman reinterpretation of Greek stylistic features from the fifth century BC
Three fragmentary statues identifiable as Muse from Hellenistic originals including "Calliope" (muse of epic poetry) and "Melpomene" (muse of tragedy)
"The special position of the body creates an elegant design of the heavy drapery of fabric arranged in a refined pattern of curved lines. The waist is encircled by a Nebrid, the goat skin typical of Dionysian characters, which is a clear reference to the origin of tragedy invented in honor of Dionysus" (Guide to the Capitoline Museums - 2007 Electa)
"Dog" of Egyptian green marble
"Four herms of caryatids" in the archaic style of the Augustan age
"Igea" in pentelic marble from the original of 290 BC
"Eros Thanatos" second century AD from the original of the fourth century BC
"Archaic Attic funerary stele with dove" Greek original about 480 BC
"The production of dense folds still has an archaic taste, but the smoothness of the drapery and the effect of transparency reveal that attention towards the human figure, animated and alive, typical of the Severe style of 480/450" (Marina Castoldi)
Exedra of Marcus Aurelius
Architecture by Carlo Aymonino (1926/2010) on the area of the Giardino Romano (Roman Garden) between the properties of the Conservatives and the Caffarelli family
In 1876 Virginio Vespignani had built an octagonal pavilion to preserve the works of art
"Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius" (161/180) about 176 AD, the only ancient equestrian bronze statue to reach our times of the many that were in Rome: a late imperial description lists no less than twenty-two Equi Magni (big horses)
It was saved from melting and recycling only because mistakenly believed to be the representation of Constantine the emperor who legalized Christianity in 313
The original location is debated. It was moved from the Lateran Square to the center of the Piazza del Campidoglio in 1538 by order of Paul III Farnese (1534/49) and placed on a pedestal designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti
In 1979 it was damaged by a bomb during a terrorist attack that didn't cause a massacre only because a storm had broke out and Piazza del Campidoglio was empty
It was restored in the years 1981/90
In 1997 a copy was placed in the center of Piazza del Campidoglio
"From the Aedes Aemiliana Herculis in the Forum Boarium probably dedicated in 142 BC during the censorship of Scipio Aemilian from an archetype dating from about 320/300 BC recognized in the Lenbach type Hercules similar, on stylistic grounds, to works of Lysippus or his school, to which refer features such as the smallness of the head (not without echoes of Skopas) or the pronounced twisting of the trunk" (Lucio Fiorini - TMG)
"Head", "Hand" and "Orb" in bronze of Constantine (306/337) or his son Costatius II (337/361) believed to be part of the same statue
"Orb" originally placed on top of the Vatican Obelisk, removed in 1586 by Domenico Fontana. According to an ancient tradition it was believed to be the tomb of Julius Caesar, but Fontana only found rust. It was transferred to the Capitoline Museum in 1589
The holes in the orb were made by bullets from guns of mercenaries during the sack of Rome in 1527. They are the only tangible evidence of that tragic event, along with the holes in the Belvedere bronze Pine Cone and in the bronze peacocks, originally located near the Pine Cone in the atrium of the Basilica of St. Peter
Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus
Also known as TEMPLE OF JUPITER OPTIMUS MAXIMUS the Roman version of the Greek Zeus. Temple of the Capitoline Triad, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva founded, according to legend, by Tarquinius Priscus (616/579 BC), the fifth king of Rome who wanted to dedicated it to Jupiter Optimus Maximus in exchange for victory over the Sabines
Maybe it was also built to emphasize the new religious as well as political importance of Rome over other cities of the Latin League who previously gravitated around Alba Longa and the Temple of Jupiter Latiaris on Mons Albanus, now Monte Cavo
Tarquinius Priscus' son, Tarquin the Proud, continued the construction but it was dedicated only in the first year of the Roman Republic, on September 13, 509 BC by the consul Horace Pulvilli
The legend says that during the construction a skull was found, which gave its name to the Capitolium hill (head in Latin is caput), hinting that that was where the center of power in Rome would have been in the future
It measured about 62 x 54 m (203 x 177 feet)
It suffered fires in 83 BC, AD 69 and AD 80 and it was always rebuilt with the same dimensions. Only part of the foundations in cappellaccio stone remains
Three parallel cellAE separated by walls, under the same roof with the simulacra of worship inside: on the left Juno, in the center Jupiter and on the right Minerva
Rites took place in the Temple before wars and triumphal processions ended here. The Sibylline Books (books to predict the future) were kept here, it was a symbol of Rome and it was reproduced in all the newly founded cities
The huge statue of JUPITER with a thunderbolt in his right hand was made by the Greek Apollonios, perhaps the same Apollonios Nestor's son who signed the Belvedere Torso in the Vatican Museums
On the roof there was a chariot made of terracotta by Vulca, the only Etruscan sculptor known to us
The legend says that during the baking the oven that contained it cracked, another harbinger of the greatness of Rome
In 296 BC the terracotta chariot was replaced with a bronze one by the Ogulnii brothers the aedilii of that year, the same ones that had made the bronze she-wolf of the Lupercal
In front of the temple there was a square, the Area Capitolina, full of statues and monuments:
A square foundation remains on either side of Via del Tempio di Giove, maybe part of the Altar to Jupiter CustoDIAN (Ara Juppiter Conservator) erected by Domitian to thank the god for the narrow escape during the siege of the Capitol ine Hill by Vitellius' party, when he had hidden in the Capitoline Temple of Isis disguised as a priest of Isis, as represented on the altar
More likely, the square foundation is the nucleus of the ALTAR of the Gens Julia maybe identifiable with the Ara Pietatis Augustae dedicated by Claudius in 43 AD but voted by the Senate in 22 for a serious illness of Livia. The reliefs included in the rear façade of the Villa Medici probably belonged to this altar
The TEMPLE OF CAPITOLINE ISIS dated at least to 58 BC, when it is mentioned for the first time by the sources. It was located in the area where the church of S. Maria in Aracoeli is now. Maybe the Celimontano Obelisk dating back to about 1250 BC at the time of Ramses II (1297/1213 BC) belonged to temple. It was moved in 1582 to Villa Celimontana
On the south side of the Temple there was the Temple of Fides (trust), the divinity guardian of the treaties and diplomatic relations, the remains of which crashed in the area of S. Omobono
Among these materials, fragments of a black marble base with victories and trophies in relief were also found, maybe the base of the bronze group with the scene of the surrender of Jugurtha donated by the king Bocco of Mauretania to Sulla and a statue of Aristogeiton one of the tyrannicides (along with Harmodius) copy of the group of Critias and Nesiote formerly made by Antenor in 476 BC to be erected in the agora of Athens, now in the Museum of the Central Montemartini: the event represented temporally coincided with the expulsion of Tarquin the Proud and the beginning of the Roman Republic 
On the Clivus Capitolinus (the road to the hill) maybe at the entrance of the Area Capitolina there was the Arch of Triumph of Scipio Africanus built in 190 BC, one of the oldest in Rome
According to ancient tradition the village on the Capitoline hill was the oldest of the ones on the hills of future Rome. It would have been founded by the god Saturn himself. Archaeological excavations made it possible to date the origin of the village of the Capitoline Hill to the fourteenth or thirteenth century BC
The Capitoline Hill is the smallest among the hills of Rome: it measures only 460 x 180 m (1,510 x 590 feet) and it is 46 m (150 feet) high above sea level, but the slope was much steeper in the past than now and it was protected from possible enemies
Remains of the decoration of an ancient temple from the sixth century BC found in the Sacred Area of S. Omobono in the Forum Boarium
The decoration of the pediment of the Corinthian type is the oldest example of a closed pediment of the Etruscan and Italic architecture in the archaic period
"Fragmented acroterial group with Hercules and Athena" second half of the sixth century BC. "Polychrome antefix (roof decoration) with female head" end of the sixth century BC
"Coating clay slab with a parade of chariots" second half of the sixth century BC. The temple was located at the point of beginning of the triumphal procession. The figure of Hercules was traditionally linked to the triumph as a man transformed into a god and he represented the consecration of power
"Laconic cup with roosters facing each other" sixth century BC
"Miniature pots and pans in bucchero" used for small offerings to the gods
"Ivory plaque in the shape of a feline" with Etruscan inscription of the beginning of the sixth century BC, maybe used as a pass, symbol of mutual hospitality, the so-called tessera hospitales
"Fragment of Amazon" in terracotta still polychrome, early fifth century BC. It was found outside the Esquiline Gate (now Arch of Gallienus) and maybe it was part of the decoration of the temple of the goddess Libitina, the goddess of deaths linked to the funeral rites
Reconstruction of the discovery of a "Girl's grave" dating to the tenth or ninth century BC found on the Capitoline Hill to prove the ancient human presence of the hill, which, judging from ceramics found in the S. Omobono area, was inhabited at least since the fourteenth or thirteenth century BC
Clementino Caffarelli Palace
1576/38 Gregorio Canonico pupil of Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola for Ascanio Caffarelli and his son Gian Pietro II
It has undergone many transformations that have altered its original appearance
Some remaining parts of the frescoed vaults are preserved in the Museum of Rome at Palazzo Braschi
From the beginning of 1800s to the end of World War I it was occupied by the Embassy of Prussia
In 1918 it was recovered by the City of Rome and partially demolished: instead of the upper floors of the east wing the great Terrazza Caffarelli (Caffarelli Terrace) was built. The ground floor, partly dismantled for the excavation of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, was set up as a new section of the Capitoline Museum, the Museo Mussolini, later known as Museo Nuovo (New Museum)
Capitoline coins and medals collection
Incredible heritage of about 50,000 coins, medals and jewels
The collection began in 1872 with the Castellani Donation of 9,074 coins, when Augusto Castellani was Director of the Capitoline Museums. The collection was enlarged with:
Stanzani Donation of 9,251 coins and 681 precious stones of the architect Ludovico Stanzani
Bignami Collection of 2,225 coins collected by Giulio Bignami
Campana Collection of 456 gold coins
Gems, jewelry and coins from the Archaeological Municipal Commission
Treasury of Via Alessandrina 2,529 gold coins and 81 gold objects, all ancient Roman pieces, the secret treasure of a Roman antiquarian, found accidentally in 1933 in the now disappeared Via Alessandrina during the construction of Via dei Fori Imperiali
Treasury of the Capitoline Hill 77 ancient silver coins found in the Tabularium
Orsini Collection 93 pieces dating back between 1300s and 1800s
Reconstruction of a brightly polychrome terracotta pediment of the Hellenistic period from a late Republican TEMPLE in via di S. Gregorio maybe the Temple of Fortuna Respiciens on Palatine Hill or a Temple of Mars on Celium Hill
It is the only pediment of a Hellenistic temple ever found in Rome
Filippo Coarelli deemed it part of the Temple of Fortune Respiciens originally built in the sixth century BC at the time of Servius Tullius and rebuilt by Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus perhaps in 166 BC (he was censor in that year), the time to which the beautiful pieces on display should date back
At the center is Mars and on his sides two fortunes of which the one on the right is the Fortuna Respiciens or "Fortuna looking back", negative Fortune. The temple was located, perhaps not coincidentally in the middle of the triumph itinerary during which the winner was told: "Look back, remember that you are a man!"
Capitoline Art Gallery
The oldest public collection of paintings in the world founded in 1748 by Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58), adviced by the cardinal Silvio Valenti Gonzaga, with the Collection Sacchetti of 187 paintings and expanded in 1750 with the Collection Pio di Savoia of 126 paintings in the new rooms especially built by Ferdinando Fuga (1699/1782) in 1749
Other acquisitions in late 1800s and early 1900s
Central Italy from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance
"Death and Assumption of the Virgin" about 1515 by Nicola Filotesio aka Cola dell'Amatrice (about 1480/1547) from the church of S. Domenico in Ascoli Piceno
"Even here Filotesio boasts a style based on mixing the art of Raphael, Leonardo and Pedro Fernandez, with results that have been defined anticlassical (Zeri, 1971) or carriers of heterodox instances anyway (Cannatà 1991). Worthy of note is the landscape in the back of the painting characterized by 'the more mysterious and powerful neoprospectic landscape paintings from those years' (Volpe 1984)" (Roberto Cannatà - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
"Trinity" by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (news in the years 1368/1416) in the lower part of the painting it also represented the buyer Francesco Datini, wealthy merchant of Prato, with his wife and daughter
Five panels with "Episodes of the infancy of Christ" 1378 by the Maestro di Campli painter active between Abruzzo and Lazio regions, indicative of the spread of Giotto's art even in smaller towns
Two half-length figures of saints "St. Bartholomew" and "St. Magdalene" about 1530 by the painter from Siena Bartolomeo Bulgarini (news in the years 1337/78)
"Presentation in the Temple" started by Francesco Raibolini aka Francia (1450/1517) and finished by Bartolomeo Passerotti (1529/92)
"The work was originally destined for the church of S. Domenico in Reggio Emilia and the artist from Bologna Francesco Francia had begun to paint in 1514. The work was soon interrupted and resumed several years later by another painter from Bologna, Bartolomeo Passerotti, who completed the picture with some modifications, including the original figure of the buyer who was on his knees transformed into a St. Jerome" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
Large oil painting "Madonna with Child and Saints" 1513 by the Lucchese Agostino Marti (about 1482/1540) for Alberico Malaspina lord of Carrara
Oil on panel "Madonna and Child with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Martin of Tours" about 1496 by Gian Giacomo Alladio aka Macrino d'Alba from Piedmont (about 1470/1528). Probably painted during a short stay in Rome, which is represented in an imaginative landscape in the background
The sixteenth century in Ferrara
"Because of its geographical location - in the northeastern part of the Emilia-Romagna, a short distance from the sea - the city had of course close cultural relations with Venice, Padua and Bologna and in the fifteenth century it had become one of the main centers of Italian art. The painters of Ferrara, in particular in the first half of the sixteenth century, gather in their style proposals from both Venetian painting (in particular the use of color) and from Bolognese painting, from which they absorb formal elegance. Following the conquest by the State of the Church in 1598 the artistic heritage of Ferrara was literally ransacked and numerous paintings from the Este collections became part of the Roman collections" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"Annunciation" 1528 and "Madonna with Child in Glory" 1512/13 by Benvenuto Tisi aka Garofalo (about 1481/1559)
"Holy Family" about 1527 by the brilliant Giovanni Luteri aka Dosso Dossi (about 1486/1542)
"Flight into Egypt" about 1594 and "Adoration of the Magi" about 1600 by Ippolito Scarsella aka Scarsellino
Venice and its territory in the sixteenth century
"Baptism of Jesus" about 1512 by the great Venetian master Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) (about 1490/1576)
"Early painting by Titian where its buyer, Giovanni Ram, a Spanish merchant who lived in Venice, is depicted in the lower right, while witnessing the sacred scene, which opens onto a delicate landscape. The white and red of the cloth in the lower left part of the painting focus the attention and set the distances" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums
"Fortress" and "Temperance" ceiling panels about 1556, "Ascension" and "The Rape of Europa" by Paolo Caliari aka Veronese (1528/88)
"The author of what it will later be referred to as the 'doing big' of Venetian painting, Veronese combines formal elegance with a relaxed and innovative use of color, as in the great painting of the Rape of Europa (autographed replica of a work of the same subject now kept in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice), where the myth - the young Europa being abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull, and carried across the sea to the land that you will get her name - is represented in all of its phases, focusing particularly on the sensual figure of Europa, richly dressed" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"Portrait of a crossbowman" 1552 by Lorenzo Lotto (about 1480/1556)
"Christ and the adulteress" by Jacopo Negretti aka Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (about 1480/1528)
"Portrait of a Woman" about 1525 by Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (about 1480/1548). Savoldo represents the woman next to a small dragon as St. Margaret, patroness of childbirth. Excellent example of his luminous silkiness and of his attention to detail and realism of the yet incredible representation
"Flagellation", "Crowning with Thorns", "Baptism of Jesus" and "Penitent Magdalene" by Domenico Robusti aka Tintoretto (1560/1635) son of the more famous Jacopo
"Good Samaritan" about 1540/50 by Jacopo da Ponte aka Jacopo Bassano (about 1510/92)
Sixteenth century styles in Rome
"Diana and Endymion" 1660 by Pier Francesco Mola (1612/66) native of Canton Ticino in Switzerland
"A serene contemplation of nature is evident in Diana and Endymion painted for Bonaventura Argenti, a friend of Mola and famous musician for the papal chapel, for whom Mola worked on several occasions. The theme of the subject is masterfully played by Mola who manages to combine Carracci's models, the lunar atmosphere by Guercino and enchanted moments of the poetic fables of Poussin. Similar are the Bacchus of the Galleria Spada in Rome and the Boy with the dove (Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario)" (Laura Possanzini - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
"Erminia among the shepherds" by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647) the most Baroque among the many Emilian painters active in Rome in the first half of the seventeenth century
"The poem of Tasso was well known and what the shepherd says to the girl dressed in the arms of Clorinda sent back to the meaning which had long been the goal of pastoral literature, namely insecurity and vanity of glory, futility of worldly conflicts, peace that is only to be found in simple things, in contact with nature. In his painting Lanfranco did not use the history of Erminia as a pretext for the landscape nor insisted on the pastoral atmosphere. He sought instead to create the atmosphere of the evening (the projection of the melancholic mood of Erminia) of the woods, in the back, which becomes a black and indistinct mass against the dim light that still lingers in the sky" (Giuliano Briganti - 1985)
"Moses drawing water from the rock" about 1642 and "Adoration of the Golden Calf" about 1642 by François Perrier (1590/1650) one of the twelve founders of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture
"Triumph of Flora" maybe by Nicolas Poussin (1594/1665)
"David and Goliath" about 1639 by Guillaume Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
The sixteenth century in Emilia
"A precious testimony of the variety of artistic production which, alongside the great works for churches and public and private palaces, included smaller works for smaller rooms as well as copies of famous works, at the time in great demand from the market. Paintings of this type have had a fundamental role in the dissemination of new artistic proposals and to allow the study of the great masters of entire generations of young artists" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"Diana the huntress" about 1601 and "St. Anthony"1635 by Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino (1568/1640)
"Our Lady of Albinea" copy of the lost the original by Antonio Allegri aka Correggio said (1489/1534) formerly in the church of S. Prospero in Albinea in the province of Reggio Emilia
"Dispute of St. Catherine of Alexandria" by Prospero Fontana (1512/97) father of the painter Lavinia Fontana
"Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine of Alexandria" about 1595 by Pietro Faccini (about 1562/1602)
Great Seventeenth century painting in Rome
"Sibyl of Cuma" about 1622 by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)
"The writing in Greek on the scroll reads 'There is only one God, infinite and unborn'. The last word is spelled incorrectly. The words referring to a God who has yet to be born would clearly indicate the ability of the woman to predict the the future. The vine that can be seen behind the wall probably refers to Christ. As the Sibyl in the Borghese Gallery, it is a highly idealized female image evoking a Raphael-like kind of beauty. The expansion of the forms here, however, is more insistent and even the brush strokes look different, broader and faster, as it is possible to see from the treatment of the drapery of her garments" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"St. John the Baptist" 1602 and "Good Fortune" about 1595 masterpieces by the great Michelangelo Merisi aka Caravaggio (1571/1610)
"Caravaggio's St John the Baptist had an immense influence in the seventeenth century and beyond, until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It gave way to a new way of painting, a new way of looking at the world. No one would have thought it when Caravaggio, practically, sold it off, but the artist was beginning to change the course of European art" (Peter Robb)
"Caravaggio shows how one should use the lessons of the great: taking over the approach of some of Michelangelo's figures, he brings them down into living reality, he shows how reality, so well framed and focused, gets sharper somehow and how its contrasts result more distinct. The same can be said of the story: he does not remove reality, he gets closer, he doesn't cheer up, he dramatizes. The facts of the past are not shown as already occurred and judged, but caught in flagrante delicto of their happening here and now. We do not know causes and effects of immediate events; we cannot stand back, contemplate, judge, we must live the events. It is a moment, a fragment, but is a real-time, a live fragment of our existence" (Giulio Carlo Argan)
"It is a masterful combination of lightness and apparent intrinsic gravity: his disarming simplicity (God is simple, love is simple) can be disturbing at times pushing the viewers to think that what you see is too easy, launching into travel within the picture to find out the much-celebrated (and unnecessary) hidden meanings. His works are not icons, but they speak of flesh, blood, stupor, and torture, but also of grace, mystery and search for God" (Sergio Guarino)
"St. Matthew and the Angel", "Persian Sibyl", "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Burial and Glory of St. Petronilla" 1623 by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
"There is a weak beginning of abandonment of baroque tendencies: the figures are less vigorous and more clearly delineated, the rich palette is muted and the composition itself is balanced in a more classic way than in his pre-Roman works. However, just in the painting which manifests for the first time a return to a more easily appreciated classicism, the idea of lowering the body of the saint in the open grave, in which it seems the observer is, has an immediate attractiveness, unthinkable without the experience of Caravaggio. So a pictorially Baroque style, a Caravaggio echo and an anticipation of the early Baroque-Classicism combine in this crucial phase of Guercino's career" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"Romulus and Remus suckled by the wolf" 1617/18 by Peter Paul Rubens (1577/1640) painted in Antwerp. It is one of the best works of the Flemish painter for the vibrant richness of colors' substance: the twins are suckled by the wolf, in the presence of Rhea Silvia and the personification of the Tiber, as they were found by the shepherd Faustulus
"Allegory of the Intellect, Will and Memory" about 1624 by Simon Vouet (1590/1649)
"Madonna and Child with Angels" about 1610 and "Birth of the Virgin" on a blackboard by Francesco Albani (1578/1660)
Painting in Bologna by the Carracci, Guido Reni
"St. Sebastian" about 1615, "St. Jerome", "Lucretia", "Cleopatra" about 1640/42
"Compared to the immediately preceding version - Dublin's Cleopatra dated to 1639/40 - one can easily see as the Capitoline Cleopatra fully reflects the characteristics of the second period of the artist (thin painting, diaphanous colors, historical event reduced to essential data), elements that for a long time, starting already during his lifetime, have caused to consider the production of Guido Reni with extreme embarrassment, sometimes even pushing to unspeakable damning. Only in recent decades we have begun to understand the deep, brilliant revolution that Reni operates on his own artistic language, overcoming the complete formal elegance that made him famous" (Sergio Guarino)
  "Jesus and St. John", "Girl with a Crown" and "Sketch of the blessed soul" about 1641 by Guido Reni (1575/1642)
"Guido Reni maintained a constant experimental attitude: in the Girl with a Crown, made in his last years, there are disintegration of colors, until then polished, and great figurative simplicity" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"St. Francis adoring the Crucifix" about 1584 by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609)
"In the half-length cutting and in the choice to put in the foreground, as on a windowsill, the tools of meditation of the saint, the painting, which Posner termed 'the most lovable and sweet' among the representations of St. Francis by Annibale, was influenced by previous works of Bartolomeo Passerotti (...). One can detect here also Correggio's style for the first time, in the yielding sense of the form, and an accelleration of color that seems to consume, like internal combustion, the painted matter, now undone and impalpable" (Daniele Benati)
"Holy Family with Saints" about 1590 and "St. Cecilia" 1605 by Ludovico Carracci (1555/1619)
"The mystery of grace has been cleverly humanized through the simple representation of the affections. The novelty of the paintings by Ludovico, understanding art as popular communication, indicates an important factor in the new language of 1600s" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"Judith" by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713) a copy from original of Guido Reni
"Wedding of St. Catherine" 1590 by Denis Calvaert (about 1540/1619)
Baroque painting: Pietro da Cortona and his followers
"Rape of Helen" about 1631 and "David and Goliath" about 1640 by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62) from Viterbo, a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
"Meeting of Esau and Jacob" about 1640, "Joseph sold by his brothers" about 1640 by Giovanni Maria Bottalla (1613/44), a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
Eleven paintings by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669) including:
"Triumph of Bacchus" 1624, "Madonna with Child", "The Chariot of Venus", "Sacrifice of Polyxena" about 1620, "Portrait of Pope Urban VIII" about 1627, "View of Allumiere" about 1625/30 and "Rape of the Sabine Women" about 1629 for the Sacchetti family
The Rape of the Sabine Women has been described as the manifesto of Baroque painting
"It is a clear example of the new way of interpreting the patrimony of ancient civilization. To illustrate a Historia (story) the artist carefully rebuilt a scenario faithful to historical truth (note the armor and clothes), but the drama, even though they are in an ideal space away from everyday life, comes alive with the spectacular vitality of a play acted in theater. Despite the balanced sequence of perspective backdrop wings, Pietro da Cortona exceeds the rules of symmetry and arranges clusters of figures according to a dynamic spin" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
It takes its name from the 1880 bequest of Count Francesco Cini who donated to the City of Rome his collection of porcelain and furniture including over 400 pieces of porcelain from Saxony, China, Japan and from Capodimonte (Naples) dating back to the 1700s. The collection also included watches, snuff boxes and objects of Oriental art
Bisque statuettes by Giovanni Volpato (1735/1803), small reproductions of famous classical statues destined to foreign collectors. They were the tourists souvenirs of the late eighteenth century
Six Flemish tapestries "Stories of Semiramide" about 1627/38 from the manufacture in Antwerp of Michel Wauters from cartoons by the Flemish Abraham van Diepenbeek (1596/1675)
"Portrait of the engraver Peter de Jode the older and his son Pieter the Younger" and "Portrait of painters Luca and Cornelius de Wael" 1627/29 by Anthony Van Dyck (1599/1641). Van Dyck's ability as a portrait painter was undisputed and it was always very appreciated his extraordinary ability to individualize the subjects of his portraits and his compositional balance which always used the best light effects
Outstanding "Crucifixion" by Gabriel Metsu (1629/67)
"Triumph of the Cross" by Leonard Bramer (1596/1674)
"Farmers" by Michael Sweerts (1618/64)
"Dance of peasants" by the bambocciante (painter who liked to represent real life situations of the poorer class) by Michelangelo Cerquozzi (1602/60)
"A soldier" and "A Witch" about 1650 by the brilliant and dark Salvator Rosa (1615/73)
"His fame is mainly due to the representation of landscapes, characterized by nature rough and wild, to the battle scenes, marked by crude expressivity, and to his preference for the dark tones and contrasts of light. He also painted allegorical portraits, mythical and biblical subjects where the moralizing and philosophical intent is accentuated by the dark and mysterious atmosphere, and even paintings related to magical themes" (Enciclopedia Treccani)
"Portrait of a Man" by Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609)
"Battle" by Jacques Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
Three paintings "Portrait of a Man", "Portrait of a Man with Dog" and "Double Portrait of a Musician" 1578/85 by Bartolomeo Passerotti (1529/92)
Four big "Preparatory sketches" for the tapestries in the Tapestry Room and "Romulus and Remus" by Domenico Corvi (1721/1803) from Viterbo, a copy of the painting by Rubens
Seven "Views of Rome" on parchment and "View of St. Nile in Grottaferrata" by Gaspar van Wittel (1653/1736) Dutch painter naturalized Italian, known also as Gaspare Vanvitelli or Gaspare degli occhiali (Caspar with glasses). He moved to Italy when he was twenty and he became an unbeatable landscape artist who also liked to use technical devices such as the optical box. He was the father of the great painter and architect Luigi Vanvitelli
"Holy Family" by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
"Holy Family" about 1755 by Pompeo Batoni (1708/87)
"It joined in the Capitoline collections in the twentieth century. The painting is a copy of the numerous high-level production of Batoni, an example of a sophisticated neo-Raphael mood, with direct quotations of the most famous works of the painter from Urbino in the compositional structure itself and in the purity of the features of the Virgin, as well as in the extreme attention to detail. The sense of grace pervading the image refers to Parmigianino" (Web site of the Capitoline Museums -
"Self Portrait" about 1650 by the great Spanish painter Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599/1660) vivid portrait as a member of the Virtuosi of the Pantheon, the congregation of Roman artists. It was painted during his second stay in Rome in the years 1649/51
"Portrait of Cardinal Silvio Valenti Gonzaga" by Pierre Subleyras (1699/1749). Cardinal Gonzaga was the promoter of the Capitoline collection of paintings
State Archive
State Archive of Rome, built in 78 BC by the architect Lucius Cornelius for the consul Quintus Catulus Lutazio in the lower area called Asylum in between the higher area to the south known as ARX, corresponding to the Temple of Juno Moneta, and the higher area to the north known as CAPITOLIUM, corresponding to the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus
The building is 73.60 m (242 feet) long in blocks of tuff and lava stone from the River Aniene
It was used in the Middle Ages as a deposit of salt and as a prison
The name comes from the bronze tabulae (plate) on which laws and official acts were inscribed
In the first period of Roman history the Asylum was used to house the refugees and those expelled from other cities, who were quickly proclaimed Roman citizens. One of the big differences between Rome and other cities of antiquity was this willingness to accept foreigners as citizens, regardless of their religion, language or color of skin, as long as they would accept the laws of the Roman state. It was perhaps one of the reasons for Rome's extraordinary success
130 INSCRIPTIONS grouped by topics:
Languages, The Tomb, The Cult, The Law, Professions and Trades, the Games, Roads and Aqueducts, Military, The Roman Aristocracy
"Altar dedicated to the Sun god and the gods of Palmyra" second half of the first century AD with on the left side inscription in Syrian language from Palmyra. It was dedicated by Felix, an imperial freedman who worked in Testaccio in the Horrea Galbana and by his wife Helpis. It represents an early testimony of the oriental cult of the god Sun in Rome
"Ancient capitals" with inscriptions in Hebrew dating back to 1560/76 from the Campus Iudeorum the Jewish Cemetery which used to be located in the Trastevere district near Porta Portese. It was used from the early Middle Ages until 1645, when Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55) gave to the Jewish community a new area on the Aventine for their cemetery
"Cinerarium-shaped shrine with portraits of the dead"
"Stele of the gladiator Anicetus" still with traces of color
"Base of statue known as Vicomagistri's" 136 dedicated to Adriano (117/138)
"Base of a statue" dedicated by the Fifth Cohort of the Fire Brigade to Caracalla (211/17)
During the excavations of 1939/40 the Temple of Veiovis was found, an infernal young god maybe originally Etruscan, dedicated in 192 BC but rebuilt in the first century BC with headless "Cult statue of Veiovis"
"Inscription of the tomb of Agrippina Maggiore" with on the right side inscription of the twelfth century by the City of Rome that transformed this block of marble into an instrument of measurement of food units
"Base of a statue of Cornelia" the famous mother of the Gracchi brothers already placed in the Portico of Metellus later known as Portico d'Ottavia
"Relief of the knight Marcus Curtius" of the first century BC as he jumps in the chasm, found near the Column of Phocas. The relief was recycled for the paving of the Forum of 12 BC and its back is engraved with a part of the inscription which mentions the funder of the work, the praetor Lucius Naevius Surdinus
"Base of a statue of Hadrian" important for the lists engraved on the sides of vici (roads and districts) of three of the fourteen regiones (neighborhoods) in which Rome was divided. This is an extraordinary document for topographical knowledge of Rome during the first half of the second century AD
PORCH with eleven spans and gallery with "Fragment of a lintel from the Temple of Vespasian and Titus" decorated with absolutely incredible detail, richness and virtuosity that makes the nearby "Fragment of a lintel from the Temple of Concord" of 12 AD sober in comparison
ROOMS IN the foundationS
Remains of a building predating the Tabularium on the room ground level. In one of the three rooms "Mosaic floor" among the oldest ever found in Rome, dating from the second half of the second century BC, with a white background and irregular flakes of colored marbles
Palace of the Senate
Various civil buildings built over the Fortress of the Corsi family that had been built, in turn, over the ruins of the Tabularium, the State Archive of ancient Rome
It was renovated in 1299 and it kept until the sixteenth century the appearance of a fortified medieval public building
1582/1605 by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) with his collaborator Girolamo Rainaldi (1570/1655) who adapted the original design by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564). The only remaining parts that were built during Michelangelo's lifetime are the "Gateway" to the assembly room and the "Outside stairs", two converging ramps built in the years 1547/54 without the canopy on two columns which was in the original project by Michelangelo
1578/82 Martino Longhi the Elder (1534/91) in place of the medieval and higher than that of Michelangelo's project, on top of the cross in gold leaf and antique statue "Goddess-Minerva Rome"
CLOCK installed in 1806, formerly on the façade of the church of S. Maria in Aracoeli
To the left of the building TOWER OF MARTIN V Colonna (1417/31) about 1427 towards S. Maria in Aracoeli and TOWER of Nicholas V Parentucelli (1447/55) 1453 towards the Forum
To the right of the palace TOWERS OF BONIFACE IX Tomacelli (1389/1404). The overhead passage was built in 1940
ENTRANCE HALL of Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471/84) 1477
HALL OF the Carroccio (Cart carrying flags during battle) with an inscription commemorating the gift of the Carroccio, from Frederick II to the Roman people, taken from the Milanese of the Northern League in the battle of Cortenuova in 1237
HALL OF THE FLAGS or OF THE BOARD 1847, so named for the banners of the fourteen districts of the Civic Guard
1573/77 grand salon of the palace, formerly seat of the court of the Senator. From the postwar period it is known as AULA GIULIO CESARE (Julius Caesar Hall)
In the floor "Five Roman mosaics with floral and marine scenes" of the second century AD at the center of the modern checkerboard marble floor white and gray. They were taken from various rooms of a Roman villa in the area of Casal Morena on the Via Anagnina
Paintings on the ceiling and frieze "History of Ancient Rome" 1929/30 by Eugenio Cisterna (1862/1933) from Genzano
"Statue of Julius Caesar" and "Statue of Roman Admiral" dating back to Trajan's period (98/117)
In the outside wall remains of the 1299 loggia from the time of Boniface VIII Caetani (1294/1303)
Capitoline Museum of busts
Collection of busts of Italian celebrities originally displayed in the Pantheon by Antonio Canova:
"Pius VII" Chiaramonti (1800/23) 1807 and "Domenico Cimarosa" 1808 by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)
"One is surprised by how such weight of matter is transformed by the power of art and marble seems swollen for secret sounds, light, transparent, open to interpretation, like those eyes lost in the faraway distance, on the edge of a lovely melody" (Valentino Martinelli)
"Angelika Kauffmann" 1809 by Paolo Adolfo Kauffmann
"Masaccio", "Lorenzo Ghiberti", "Petrarch" and "Ludovico Ariosto" 1814/15 by Carlo Finelli (1785/1853) from Carrara, belonging to a family of sculptors including the great Giuliano Finelli
"Andrea Mantegna" by Rinaldo Rinaldi (1793/1873)
"Polidoro da Caravaggio" by Francesco Massimiliano Laboureur (1767/1831)
"Arcangelo Corelli" 1713/14 by Angelo De Rossi (1671/1715)
"Camillo Rusconi" by Giuseppe Rusconi (1688/1758) one of Camillo Rusconi's pupils but not related
Two great eighteenth-century Roman artists are represented, the sculptor "Pietro Bracci (1700/73)" 1794/95 the sculptor of the statue of Ocean in the Trevi Fountain and the extraordinary painter "Marco Benefial (1684/1764)" 1781/82 works by Vincenzo Pacetti (1746/1820) also Roman
"Anton Raphael Mengs" 1781 and "Giovanni Pichler" 1792 by the Irish Christopher Hewetson (about 1739/1797)
New Palace
Project by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) only for a façade with no building
It was begun by Girolamo Rainaldi (1570/1655) in 1603 for Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605) 
The work was resumed and completed in the years 1654/55, after a long interval, by Carlo Rainaldi (1611/91) son of Girolamo for Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55)
It was licensed for use to the Guild of the Arts of Wool and Silk and then at the Guild of the Arts of Agriculture
The museum was established in 1734 by Clement XII Corsini (1730/40), who bought the Albani collection of 418 sculptures to which statues bought by Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58) were added later
The exhibition, which has remained substantially unchanged to this day, was arranged by the Marquis Alessandro Capponi
This is the first ever public collection of antiquities in the world from which all similar museums drew inspiration and were modeled on
Exedra by Filippo Barigioni (about 1690/1753), a pupil of Carlo Fontana, with "Marforio" the colossal statue of Oceano first century AD, one of the talking statues of Rome on which signs were posted with anonymous phrases, mostly sarcastic, like Pasquino
The name traditionally comes from Martis Forum (Forum of Mars)
It was moved to the Capitoline Hill in 1594 but it was already known in the Middle Ages, when it was described and drawn near the Arch of Septimius Severus, in the Roman Forum
Above "Bust of Pope Clement XII Corsini (1730/40)" the promoter of the museum of sculptures with marble plaque celebrating the opening
In the courtyard "Three granite columns with Egyptianising reliefs" from the early imperial period, probably originally located along the road leading to the main temple to Isis in Rome, the Iseo Campensis
On the sides "Statues of satyrs" second century AD from the Theatre of Pompey formerly exhibited in the courtyard of the Palazzo Della Valle
"Statue of Minerva" second century BC from the original of the fifth century BC Athena Parthenos by Phidias (about 490/430 BC), the main cult statue in the Parthenon in Athens
"Statue of Faustina the Elder" portrayed as Ceres, with remains of gilding
"Group of Polyphemus" mistakenly restored in 1636 as Pan
"Endymion" from original of the end of the fourth century BC
Colossal statue of "Mars" end of first century AD from the Forum of Nerva, maybe part of the Temple of Mars Ultor in the Forum of Augustus and probably reproducing the cult image of the temple itself, which would have been of course be much larger. The lower part is a modern restoration
"Statue of Diana the huntress" from an original of the fourth century BC. "Juno Lanuvina" or maybe Ceres dating back to the early imperial age, from an original of the fifth century BC. It was found in the Vatican area
"Statue of woman with Julia Domna's portrait" with body copy from original of the middle of the fourth century BC and head-portrait of Septimius Severus' (193/211) wife of the beginning of the third century AD
Opposite "Statue of woman with Livia's portrait" 30/20 BC from the Belvedere Palace in the Vatican
Both statues are placed over "Bases with inscriptions of the heirs of Caius Cestius" 18/12 BC from the Pyramid of Caius Cestius
"Statue of Hadrian as Pontifex Maximus" 117/138 from the area of S. Stefano Rotondo
"Draped headless statue" in porphyry marble first century AD
Around the niches many Roman inscriptions are included, most of which are funerary ones
Original Egyptian pieces set up in 1907 by the archaeologist Orazio Marucchi
They were mainly found in Rome in 1883 in the area of the Temple of Isis also known as Iseum Campensis, corresponding to the church S. Stefano del Cacco and surrounding area
In the same 1883 the collection of Egyptian antiquities formerly present in the Capitoline Museums was moved to the Vatican Museum where it still is now
"Caligula (37/41) rebuilt the temple more magnificent than ever, and gave a big boost to the neighborhood that once stood around the Egyptian Iseum. This district was formed by the dwellings of the priests who used to worship, but also artisans and traders, and corresponded - in the area and extent - to a similar 'Roman' neighborhood in Alexandria, where also stood a temple dedicated to Jupiter of the same size as the Iseum Campensis. This indicated the sense of equivalency that Rome had wanted to give Egypt and its former glory. Not vanquished people but nation on a par with Rome, as evidenced by the coin depicting two hands shaking, the Nile's and the Tiber's from the time of Antoninus Pius" (Anna Maria Partini)
"Columns with decorative plants"
"Crocodile" from the Ptolemaic or early imperial period in pink Aswan granite, incarnation of the god Sobek
"Two of Nectanebo II cynocephali" 359/341 BC gray granite embodiment of the lunar god Thoth
"Sphinx in pink granite" 144/30 BC from Via S. Ignazio
"Sphinx of Pharaoh Amasis II in basanite" 568/526 BC found near the apse of S. Maria sopra Minerva. The inscription on the breast of the pharaoh was sufficient for identification, although much of it had been scratched away, maybe by the Persians led by Cambyses II (son of Cyrus the Great and Darius I's father), who conquered Egypt six months after Amasis II's death
"Figured bell-krater" dark gray granite from the Canopus of Hadrian's Villa
"Fragment of capital bell-shaped" in marble first century AD
stanzette terrenE
Small rooms on the ground floor
Epigraphic monuments, portraits and sarcophagi in three small rooms accessible from the Atrium through one door
"Fragments of Roman calendars" that Caesar defined with 365 days
"Minor Fasti" lists of magistrates
"Portrait of a member of the Julio-Claudian family" maybe Germanicus or his father Drusus Major
"Two male portraits" of the fourth century A D
Huge and significant "Attic Sarcophagus with scenes from the life of Achilles" with representations on the four sides dating to the early third century AD. It was found in 1582 or just before near the Monte del Grano between Via Tuscolana and Via Labicana. The quality and beauty of the relief are amazing
"Altar-urn of the builder, Titus Statilius Aper" with writing tools first century AD from the Janiculum Hill
"Funerary relief with three characters" early first century AD
"Base with labors of Hercules" first imperial age
"Aebutii family's funerary stele with measuring instruments" in travertine first century AD
"Cippus of Vettius Agorius Praetextatus" and his wife Fabia Paulina Aconia. He was a prefect of the fourth century AD, one of the last politicians who sought to protect and preserve the ancient Roman religion from the advance of Christianity. He was a priest and started several cults, as well as a scholar of literature and philosophy
"Front of a sarcophagus with lion hunt" third century AD from the Appian Way
"Fragment of a sarcophagus with lion and antelope" in Pentelic marble of the late imperial period. The muzzle of the lion is represented schematically with expressionistically and artificially ferocious expression, but the ribs of the feline are realistically visible
"Statue of a priest in the act of bringing a vessel" with a not relevant female head copy of a Hellenistic original from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli. The drapery is rendered in an exquisite and extraordinarily realistic way
More than a hundred statues displayed according to a mostly ornamental taste. The arrangement of the works is roughly the one concocted in 1734 with great erudition by the Marchese Alessandro Capponi at the behest of Pope Clement XII
Hundreds of small walled inscriptions in the walls, coming largely from the columbarium of the slaves and freedmen of Livia on the Appian Way
"Colossal statue of Hercules" second century AD copy from the original by Lysippus (about 370/300 a.C.) of the fourth century BC from S. Agnes' Basilica restored by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654) who probably changed the statue so that it was transformed from a Hercules Taming the Deer to a more dramatic Hercules and the Hydra. Lysippus had represented in sculpture all the labors of Hercules
"Calyx krater" from the tomb of Cecilia Metella, decorated with an elegant plant motif, resting on a well-head decorated in relief with figures of the twelve gods
"Statuette of Herakles boy strangling the snakes" second half of the second century AD maybe portrait of Caracalla, or of Annius Vero, son of Marcus Aurelius
"Antinous" Hadrian period (117/138)
"Paris" from an original of the fourth century BC
"Faustina Minor" 161/170
"Roman aristocratic woman depicted as Venus" second half of the first century AD from Porta S. Sebastiano
"Roman Matron with son" first century AD from the Vatican
"Marsyas" from an Hellenistic original
"Statue of a wounded warrior" from the 460 BC original "Discus Thrower" by Myron of Eleutere (about 500/440 BC). Only the torso is ancient copy of the Discus Thrower: the modern parts have been added by Pierre-Étienne Monnot (1657/1733) who wanted to turn it into a wounded warrior to be a counterpart of the Dying Gaul
"Leda and the Swan" greek marble copy of the Hadrian's period from an original of the fourth century BC. by Timotheos. Zeus transformed himself into a swan to have sex with Leda and from the unlikely union the twins Castor and Pollux and Helen of Troy were born...yes, from eggs! The theme inspired many painters, from Leonardo da Vinci to Correggio, from François Boucher to Paul Cezanne, from Henri Matisse to Salvador Dali
"Eros stringing the bow" in Parian marble, copy of the first century AD from an original of the fourth century BC by the great Lysippus (about 370/300 a.C.) for the sanctuary of Eros Thespiae in Boeotia. This is one of the best copies among the many existing
"Along with Praxiteles and Skopas, Lysippus (about 370/300 BC) is one of the artists who best interpreted the crisis of traditional values on which the Greek civilization was based until then, as a result of the dramatic events made by the prolonged Peloponnesian War, the attempt to abolish the democratic government by the Thirty Tyrants, the affirmation of the supremacy of Macedonia after the Athenian defeat at the battle of Chaeronea in the year 338. As one can easily understand, artistic expression, in its various forms, could not help but acknowledge the tensions of the historical moment and give them visible form in a modulation characterized by the centrality of the human figure in motion, rather than the static harmony of forms typical of the previous period" (Marinella Testori)
Statue of "Old drunk woman" from original by Myron of Thebes the Younger third century BC. It was found in 1620 in the Basilica of St. Agnes. The stark realism of the representation is typical of the interest of Hellenistic art for the most distant aspects from the ideal of classical beauty and for the reality of every day life
"Monumental sarcophagus with scenes of Amazons" second century AD, topped by a "Head of Dionysus"
"Head of Apollo" from original of the fourth century BC
"Head of a goddess" maybe a Hellenistic original, with sunken eyes that were to be made of precious stones as it was typical of many ancient statues
Room of the Doves
In the center "Statue of a Young Girl with Dove" second century AD from a Hellenistic bronze original of about 240/220 BC
"In the base at the binding of the body and the head of the snake, added that in 1800s, there was originally a small pet (a cat or perhaps more likely a dog). The Capitoline statue has lost its original funeral or votive connotation represented by the theme, to clothe a playful and light one like other genre compositions produced during the middle and late Hellenistic period involving children or youths" (Francesco Paolo Arata)
The young girl with dove is on the "Capitoline Tripod with three griffins sitting" second century AD in Luni marble (Carrara) from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli
On the shelves about 80 portraits of public and private figures including:
"Portrait of a woman with curly hair" early third century AD
"Head of Isis" mid-second century AD on a bust not relevant. On the head there is a high kalathos empty inside, and decorated with a crescent moon
"Female portrait" of mid Antonine age during which this kind of hairstyle with parted waves, a large central parting and knots at the temples was very fashionable. Perhaps it is the portrait of a sister of Lucius Verus or of his wife Lucilla
"Double herm of Hermes and Athena" second century AD in marble of Luni
"Votive Oscillum with footprint" end of the first or early second century AD found in the Campitelli district. There is an engraved dedication to Isis Frugifera
The Oscilla (swings) were hung as a votive offering on trees during some festivals such as Sementivae Faeriae (sowing parties), or Paganalia, parties of the pagi (rural villages), especially in honor of Bacchus. Since they used to swing in the wind, from the name of these objects the Latin verb oscillare derived, from which in turn the Italian word with the same meaning derived
On the right "Sarcophagus with the myth of Prometheus" third century AD from the area of Porta S. Pancrazio and "Sarcophagus of Geronte with the myth of Endymion and Silene" first half of the second century AD from the area of Porta Ostiense. The large sarcophagus front inserted in the wall opposite the entrance with Triumph of Bacchus is only a cast of the original stolen by Napoleon
Embedded in the wall:
"Mosaic of the Doves" early second century AD found in 1737 in Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. It was an èmblema (central part of the mosaic floors) maybe copy from Sosos mosaic artist working in Pergamum in the second century BC
"Mosaic of the scenic masks" èmblema of the second century AD from the area of the Baths of Decius near S. Prisca
Display with important inscriptions:
"Iliac Tabula" first century AD marble bas-relief with scenes from the Iliad
"Bronze Tabula of the Fabri Guild of Sentinum" third century AD that assigns the title of patron to Coretius Fuscus
"Bronze inscription with a dedication to Septimius Severus (193/211) from the fire brigade of the Fourth Cohort" 203 from the Aventine Hill
"Senatusconsultum about Asclepiades of Klazomenai and allies" 78 BC the oldest remain of a bronze decree of the senate almost entirely preserved
"Decree of Pompey Strabo" 90/89 BC with bilingual text, Latin and Greek, with which Roman citizenship was granted to the Hispanics knights who had served for the Romans in Ascoli
Cabinet of the Venus
"Capitoline Venus" about 250/150 BC in Parian marble, found in the years 1667/70 in the area of S. Vitale on Via Nazionale, maybe one of the earliest and most faithful copies of what it is called the "Capitoline type" inspired to the Cnydia Aphrodite that Praxiteles (about 395/326 AD) sculpted in about 360 BC for the Temple of Aphrodite at Cnidus
In the world there are about one hundred replicas of this kind of statue
Among the American visitors, one who was greatly impressed was Mark Twain, who admired her so much in the Capitoline Museums in 1867 to devote to her a story called The Capitoline Venus. It is likely that the writer already knew the Venus from a photo of the statue that had appeared in the novel The Marble Fawn published in 1860 by Nathaniel Hawthorne
sala degli imperatori
Room of the Emperors
In the walls eight ancient reliefs, including "Perseus freeing Andromeda" and "Sleeping Endymion" from Hadrian's period
67 portraits of emperors and relatives arranged in chronological order including:
"Young Augustus" (27 BC/14 AD) of the Actium type and "Augustus in full maturity" crowned with a wreath of oak
"Livia" wife of Augustus represented as Ceres
"Agrippina Senior" daughter of Agrippa and Julia who was Augustus' daughter
"Young Nero" (54/68) and "Adult Nero" restored
"Vespasian" (69/79), his son "Titus" (79/81) and his daughter "Julia"
"Nerva" (68/69)
"Trajan" (98/117) and his wife "Plotina"
It is evident the transition from classical composure and idealization of the first imperial period to the definition of the characters in a more individualized and realistic way at the beginning of the second century AD
"Flavian Lady" early second century AD, found in the area of S. Stefano Rotondo, so-called "Bust Fonseca" because it had been donated by Father Giuseppe Fonseca to Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58)
Probably one of the craziest hairstyles of all time. It is an extraordinary masterpiece of ancient sculpture, both for the expressive power of the face as well as for for technical expertise in reproducing the incredible hair style
"Adrian" (117/138) and mother-in-law "Matidia" about 147/148 from Villa Adriana in Tivoli, with curious hairdo
Hadrian had deified Matidia and had dedicated her a temple, an extraordinary and curious example of love from a son to a mother-in-law, especially considering the fact that Hadrian openly betrayed his wife Sabina, daughter of Matidia, with the handsome turkish boy Antinous. Hadrian was the first emperor who grew a beard, perhaps for his appreciation of the bearded Greek philosophers
"Antoninus Pius" (138/161) and his wife "Faustina the Elder"
"Marcus Aurelius" (161/180) and his wife "Young Faustina Minor" about 147/148
"Lucius Verus" (161/166)
"Commodus" (180/192)
"Septimius Severus" (193/211) about 200/210, his wife "Julia Domna" and his sons "Geta" and "Caracalla" (211/217)
"Elagabalus" (218/222) about 221
"Decius" (249/251)
"Stylistically, the work stands in the tradition of late Severian portraiture that will be followed until Gallienus' (253/268) time, in spite of being affected by the new expressionistic trends (in the lengthening of the face marked by wrinkles) and in spite of tending to the formal breakup that will be typical the end of the century" (Simona Fortunelli - TMG)
"Gallienus" (253/268)
"Probus" (276/282)
"Diocletian" (284/305)
"Honorius" (395/423), son of Theodosius
At the center of the room there is the "Statue of Helena sitting", mother of Constantine, depicted in a classical model created by Phidias for an image of Aphrodite
sala dei filosofi
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
76 portraits of philosophers:
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 1690/1753) 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
sala del fauno
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
sala del gladiatore
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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