a museum in the center of the Eternal City exhibits striking examples of classical sculpture

photographs by Massimo Pacifico

The Palazzo Altemps, in Piazza Sant’Apollinare in Rome, is a significant example of Renaissance architecture in the capital. Designed by Melozzo da Forlì, it was built in the area of ​​the ancient marble laboratories by Girolamo Riario, starting from 1477. Since 1997 it has been one of the four locations of the Museo Nazionale Romano, together with the Palazzo Massimo, the Baths of Diocletian and the Crypta Balbi. Inside there are sculptures from important Renaissance and Baroque archaeological collections as the Boncompagni Ludovisi collection; the sixteenth century’ one of Asdrubale and Ciriaco Mattei and that of the Altemps family. Among the masterpieces on display the most famous piece, coming from the Ludovisi collection, is the Throne with the birth of Venus (in all likelihood an original from the Magna Graecia of the 5th century BC). Important are the sculptures in the Salone delle Feste and the Roman copies from Greek originals, such as the Athena Parthenos, a copy of the original by Fidia and the Heracles of the II century BC, a copy of an original by Lisippo.

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