One of the world’s largest collections of Greek and Roman statues, the Torlonia marbles is now open in Rome, Italy for the public to see.
This spectacular collection that is comprised of bronze, marble, and alabaster statues, as well as sarcophagi, and busts will be displayed in Rome’s Capitolini Museums.
A total of 92 masterpieces will be available for the public to see and admire, almost seventy years after they were hidden forever.
The collection in its entirety is comprised of a staggering 620 pieces, which were amassed between 1400s and 1800s by private collectors. Two main Italian aristocratic families were responsible for the collection of the Greek and Roman artifacts: The Torlonia family (thus the name of the contemporary collection) and the Albani Family.
It has to be noted that Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, a notable restorer and collector Vincenzo Giustiniani, also played an important role in the creation of this ancient collection.
The Torlonia Collection
This collection of 620 marble and alabaster statues and sarcophagi dating to the Roman Empire period has been described as the “most important private museum of sculpture in the world” by Italian art critic Federico Zeri.
According to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, it has been “said to rival the ancient sculptures of the Vatican.”
The Encyclopaedia Britannica considers the most significant of the works a relief of Heracles freeing Theseus and Peirithoos (4th century BC, attributed to the school of Phidias) and a sculpture of “Hestia Giustiniani” (5th century BC, attributed to Kalamis).
In total, this impressive collection contains twentystatues of Hercules, about 30 of Venus, and 100 of the Caesars and their families.
Besides, it includes sculptures of the gods from Roman mythology and Roman copies of Greek statues.
The contemporary exhibition
According to Italy’s Capitolini museum, the exhibition in Rome will last until June 29, 2021.
”More than 90 works selected among the 620 cataloged marbles that belong with the Torlonia collection, the most important private collection of ancient sculptures: important for the history of art, archaeology, restoration, style, museography and archaeological studies,” the museum’s recent announcement reads.
The exhibition is the product of an agreement between the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism of Italy and the Torlonia Foundation.
”The scientific project for the study and promotion of the collection is by Salvatore Settis, whose team is supervising the exhibition with Carlo Gasparri. Electa, publisher and editor of the catalogue, is also in charge of the organization and promotion of the exhibition,” the museum noted.
”The exhibition design is by David Chipperfield Architects Milan, in the renovated rooms of the new space of the Capitoline Museums in Villa Caffarelli, brought back to life thanks to the commitment and project of the Superintendency of Rome. The Torlonia Foundation has restored the selected marbles with the contribution of Bvlgari, which is also the exhibition’s main sponsor,” the authorities of the Capitolini museum added.