The Torlonia Marbles. Collected Masterpieces
Palazzo Caffarelli, Capitolini Museums
from 04-04-2020 to 10-01-2021
The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces: on display in Rome from 4 April 2020 to 10 January 2021 in the Capitolina Museums over 90 works selected from the 620 cataloged marbles belonging to the Torlonia collection, the most prestigious private collection of ancient sculptures, significant for the history of art, excavations, restoration, taste, museography, archaeological studies.
The exhibition is organized as a story, in five sections, which tells the story of the collecting of ancient, Roman and Greek marbles, in a backward itinerary that begins with evoking of the Torlonia Museum, founded in 1875 by Prince Alexander Torlonia, remained open until the 1940s. The next section brings together the nineteenth-century finds of antiquity in the Torlonia properties. The third section represents the forms of eighteenth-century collecting, with the sculptures from the acquisitions of Villa Albani and the collection of the sculptor and restorer Bartolomeo Cavaceppi. Following, a selection of the marble by Vincenzo Giustiniani, one of the most sophisticated Roman collectors of the seventeenth century, and finally pieces from collections of aristocratic families of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The exhibition ends with a view over the exedra of the Capitoline Museums where the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the lupa romana and the Lateran bronzes that Sisto IV in 1471 donated to the city are gathered. An important link with the museum that the ancient busts, reliefs, statues, sarcophagi and decorative elements on display create: a reflection of a cultural process in which Rome and Italy have had an indisputable primacy.
It is from antiquity collecting that museums were born. The tour of the exhibition in important international museums will conclude with the identification of a permanent exhibition venue for the opening of a renewed Torlonia Museum.