Between sculptures and mosaics, three exhibitions tell us about the history of Rome

With the restoration of the yellow areas, starting from last April 26, all the main Italian museums have automatically reopened. And in a city like Rome, there are so many opportunities for those who want to spend a day dedicated to art and culture.

It begins with the exhibition “Colors of the Romans. The Mosaics from the Capitoline Collections”, Which can be admired at Centrale Montemartini, the second exhibition center of the Capitoline Museums, until next September 15th. The exhibition, curated by Claudio Parisi Presicce, Nadia Agnoli and Serena Gugliemi, recounts passages from the history of the city of Rome through a selection of mosaics, little known to the general public, illustrating in the most complete way the original contexts of discovery. As the web page dedicated to the exhibition explains, alongside the mosaics there are also the frescoes and sculptures that together with them constituted the furnishings of the buildings of origin, thus allowing to interpret the iconographic choices, the decorative motifs, the formal aspect works as an expression of the taste and needs of clients. All this offers a significant insight into Roman society over a large period between the 1st century BC and the 4th century AD.In addition, the rich and precious archive documentation, which accompanies the works on display, illustrates the findings with historical photos, watercolors and drawings, testimonies that help to tell the climate and circumstances that determined these discoveries: the urban transformations and the building fervor that characterized the history of Rome between the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the last century, when, parallel to the progressive expansion of the city to face its new function as the capital of Italy, one of the most “fortunate” pages of Roman archeology was written. Asked by the Ansa, the superintendent Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli in fact spoke of “an important exhibition, with a very scenographic setting and which is part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Rome Capital, because almost all the works on display were found after 1870 “. The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections, within which the itinerary follows a chronological order. It begins with “The art of mosaic with the Romans. History and technique “; we move on to “Living and dwelling in Rome between the end of the Republican age and the late ancient age, or rather luxury residences and domestic contexts”; to get to “The spaces of the sacred: the Hilarian basilica” and conclude with “The mosaics of the funerary buildings in the necropolis of the suburbs of Rome”.

A must is also the Exedra of Marcus Aurelius, where it has been exhibited since 29 April the hand of the bronze Colossus of Constantine recomposed with the fragment of the bronze finger, coinciding with the two upper phalanges of an index, and coming from the Louvre Museum. The sculpture is exhibited together with the other bronzes, already in the Lateran, donated to the Roman people by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471. The recomposition of the hand is the result of a team effort between Roma Culture, the Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the Louvre Museum. And it took place on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the Sistine donation, a real act of foundation of the Capitoline collections, but also almost 500 years after their separation. As reported by Ansa, the bronze fragment arrived in Paris in 1860 together with a large part of the collection of the Marquis Giampietro Campana, one of the protagonists of the Roman collecting landscape of the central years of the nineteenth century. In recent years it has been possible to recognize the pertinence of the fragment to one of the most iconic sculptures of Roman antiquity, the bronze colossus of Constantine, of which the head and left hand remain in the Capitoline Museums, with gaps at the index finger, of the middle finger, ring finger and palm, and a sphere once held up by the hand. The confirmation of the exceptional discovery came in May 2018 thanks to a test carried out in Rome with a 3D model of the Parisian fragment, an operation coordinated by Françoise Gaultier and the aforementioned Claudio Parisi Presicce.

Finally, the exhibition “Tota Italy. At the origin of a nation”, Set up at the Quirinale Stables and curated by Massimo Osanna, general director of the museums of the Ministry of Culture and by Stéphane Verger, director of the Roman National Museum. The exhibition, which tells the story of the Romanization process of Italy, will be inaugurated by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and will be open to the public from May 14th to July 25th. The itinerary – explains Ansa – will start from the extraordinary variety and cultural richness of pre-Roman Italy, a fascinating mosaic of people and traditions, to retrace the steps that led it to unification under the banner of Rome, from the 4th century BC to Julius-Claudian age. As Osanna declared to Adnkronos “with the” Tota Italia “project we wanted to tell the centuries-old path of cultural, linguistic, political, legal and territorial unification that has led the many peoples of ancient Italy to recognize themselves, since the time of Augustus , as part of a single entity, under the sign of Rome ”.

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