The first in a series of catalogue-guides to the entire archaeological collection on display in the various locations of the National Roman Museum (Palazzo Massimo, Diocletian's Baths, The Balbi Crypt, the Palatine Museum). Of equal interest to both academics and an educated public.
An agile format and user-friendly text structure makes it easy to dip into this book when you are actually standing in front of the sculptures, helped by a floor plan and illustrated fact sheets on each of the works. A specially commissioned photographic service pays due tribute to the superb craftsmanship of these antique sculptures, confirmed by the numerous full-page close-ups that transform the catalogue into an art book. The volume opens with a series of critical essays on collecting and the history of the several collections of antique statuary (among them the exquisite Boncompagni Ludovisi collection purchased by the Italian government in 1901) housed within the frescoed rooms of the palazzo once owned by Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps – which merits an essay by Francesco Scoppola – in the very heart of Rome just a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona. The guide leads visitors on an architectural, historical and cultural journey through the palazzo’s charms, from the courtyard to the loggia painted with the portraits of the Roman emperors, the sala della piattaia, and the church dedicated to St Anicetus, where the works are arranged to reflect the taste for antiquities prevalent from the end of the sixteenth century and the Baroque era. An extensive series of volumes that Electa is once again publishing for the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome in a renewed, elegant yet traditional format. The series aims to present the results of new excavations carried out over recent years and the research and restoration work that has been carried out on Rome’s archaeological heritage, whether well-known to the public or obscure.