Enfilade

Exhibition | The Torlonia Marbles

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 13, 2019

From the Fondazione Torlonia . . . (In 1866 the Torlonia family bought the Villa Albani and its collection):

The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces
Musei Capitolini at Palazzo Caffarelli, Rome, 25 March 2020 — 10 January 2021

Curated by Carlo Gasparri and Salvatore Settis

From 25 March 2020 to 10 January 2021, ninety-six marbles from the Torlonia Collection will be on view to the public at a major show in Rome, in the new exhibition venue of the Musei Capitolini at Palazzo Caffarelli.
 The exhibition The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces is the first step of the agreement signed the 15th of March 2016 between the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage Activities and Tourism and the Torlonia Foundation, and is a result of the institutional agreement signed by the Directorate General for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape and the Special Superintendency of Rome with the Torlonia Foundation itself. The scientific project for enhancing the collection is entrusted to Salvatore Settis, who is curating the exhibition with Carlo Gasparri; both are archaeologists and academics of the Accademia dei Lincei. The exhibition is organized by Electa, publisher of the catalog. The sculptures selected have been restored thanks to the contribution of Bvlgari.

This will be the opportunity to inaugurate the new prestigious exhibition venue in Roma Capitale of the Musei Capitolini at Palazzo Caffarelli. The choice of the location was dictated by the intention to focus the exhibition on the history of collecting. In this respect, the history of the Torlonia Museum at the Lungara (founded by Prince Alessandro Torlonia in 1875), with its 620 catalogued works of art, appears of outstanding importance. This collection is the result of a long series of acquisitions and some significant shift
 of sculptures between the various residences of the family.
 We can even say that the Torlonia Marbles constitute a collection of collections or rather
 a highly representative and privileged cross-section of the history of the collecting of antiquities in Rome from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The items on display are not only outstanding examples of ancient sculpture (busts, reliefs, statues, sarcophagi, and decorative elements), but also a reflection of a cultural process—the beginnings of the collecting of antiquities and the crucially important transition from the collection to the Museum, a process where Rome and Italy have had an indisputable primacy. In this way the exhibition traces the formation of the Torlonia Collection. The last of its five sections eloquently relates to the adjacent exedra of bronzes and the statue of Marcus Aurelius 
in the Musei Capitolini, bringing out the ties between the beginnings of private collecting
 of antiquities and the significance of the donation of the Lateran bronzes to the city of Rome by Sixtus IV in 1471.

The project to organize the exhibition of the Torlonia Collection in the renovated spaces
 of the new venue of the Musei Capitolini at Palazzo Caffarelli, restored to life by David Chipperfield Architects Milan. 
The March 2020 event is the first stage of a traveling exhibition, for which agreements are in progress with major international museums and which will conclude with the identification
 of permanent exhibition spaces for the opening of a new Torlonia Museum.

Also see the article by Elisabetta Povoledo from The New York Times (28 October 2019).

 

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