THE TORLONIA MARBLES
Until January 10th 2021, ninety-six marbles from the Torlonia collection will be on view
to the public at a major show in Rome. “The Torlonia Marbles – Collecting Masterpieces”
will be held in the new exhibition venue of the Musei Capitolini at Palazzo Caffarelli in Roma Capitale.
The event 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, subscribed by the Directorate General for Archaeology, Fine Arts
and Landscape and the Special Superintendence of Rome with the Torlonia Foundation itself.
THE HISTORY OF COLLECTING
The scientific project for enhancing the collection is entrusted to Salvatore Settis, who is curating “The Torlonia Marbles – Collecting Masterpieces” with Carlo Gasparri, both archaeologists and academics of the Accademia dei Lincei. Electa, also publisher of the catalogue, organizes the exhibition. The Torlonia Foundation with the contribution of the maisonBvlgari has restored the sculptures selected.
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 show 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.
A COLLECTION OF COLLECTIONS
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, and 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.
A TRAVELING EXHIBITION
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 through the commitment and the project of the Superintendence for Monuments and Cultural Properties of Rome is by David Chipperfield Architects Milan.
The 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 spaces for the opening of a new Torlonia Museum. Of course, measurements related to COVID-19 to be considered. For accurate information, please check this website.