The Torlonia Marbles: an exhibition not to miss in Rome
Finally yesterday I was able to visit the exhibit “Torlonia Marbles“: an exhibition not to miss if you’re in Rome now.
The exhibition was inaugurated few days ago in Palazzo Caffarelli, a renovated palace just behind the Capitoline Museums main entrance.
Why archaeologists and historians are so excited about it?
Because we’re talking about the largest collection of ancient sculptures still in private hands.
The Torlonia Collection was created in 1875 by the Prince Alessandro Torlonia and housed in a 77 rooms palace near Palazzo Corsini.
Following an heirs dispute, the sculptures were locked in 3 storerooms and slowly covered upon layers of dust : nor even scholars were allowed in.
This is the only photo of the collection that I was able to find before this exibition.
I studied this collection during my Ancient Art history classes, but I was just able to see old photos, usually low-quality and in black and white.
This short story to explain all the hype about the exhibition.
The original catalog enlisted 620 sculptures, coming from massive excavations of the Torlonias in their properties along Via Latina and Via Appia, including the estate of Herodes Atticus and the Quintili Villa.
What we can see today is just a glimpse of the huge collection.
There are so many famous masterpieces in few rooms that I felt overwhelmed.
just in the very first room: a bronze statue of Germanicus and the “Old Man” from Otricoli, and one of the Girl from Vulci.
Not to mention the Giustiani Hestia or a marble relief with a view of the Portus Augustus.
The Torlonias acquired also many statues from the Villa Albani collection and Vincenzo Giustiani.
Part of the Giustiniani collection is visible in the 7th room: the goat, the satyr and the Hestia are amazing.
The exhibition is small, the density of important masterpieces makes the visit an amazing experience: 92 sculptures in 14 rooms.
The show ends this summer, so I’ve in program to return several times in order to admire more carefully some statues.
The Torlonia Marbles
Musei Capitolini, Villa Caffarelli, Rome
14.10.2020 – 29.06.2021
Opening times: every day: 09.30 – 19.30 (last entry 18.10)
Tickets: 14€ (online reservation included)