Campania in the Roman period. Sculptures and paintings from public buildings.

The gallery, covering the whole Western wing of the ground floor (about 2000 square metres), is hosted in the rooms decorated among others by artists Giuseppe Abate (1864) and Fausto Niccolini (1866 - 1870). From an architectural point of view, the exhibition space is characterized by columns to separate the rooms and fresco and stucco decorations in the ceilings.

The section retraces significative historical aspects of some Roman towns in Campania, focusing on their public contexts. The ancient borders of the region only partially overlap with modern ones: for example the current province of Latina, today in Southern Lazio, was part of ancient Campania. Artworks on display span from the 2nd century BC to the 3rd centuruy AD. In addition to impressive marble and bronze sculptures, the gallery presents also fresco murals, inscriptions, architectural elements and furnishings, which all together decorated public buildings and funerary monuments explored between the 18th and the 20th century, during excavation campaigns carried out in the Vesuvian towns, the Phlaegrean area and the inland of Campania. Other sites located in current Lazio and in Southern Italy, at the time still part of the Kingdom of Naples, are also present with few but precious treasures. The main concept underpinning the set-up is the original context of the artworks, with a contemporary vision overcoming the traditional classification in different materials, which characterized historical Museum galleries. For the first time after centuries, decoration elements are presented in their original combination inside the buildings, where both civil and religious public life unfolded.

The visit ideally starts in the porch, on the left handside of the main entrance hall (room XXX): the display includes sculptural elements from Pozzuoli (ancient Puteoli) and from the necropolis of Pompeii. The internal rooms (XXXII-XXXIV) facing the portico play host to the artworks from Cumae and Baiae.

The following rooms present Pompeii and its buildings: the Triangular Forum and the area around the civil Forum. The rooms (XXVIII-XXXIX) facing the Western branch of the porch also display artworks from Pompeii and in particular from the civil Forum, the temple of Jupiter, the Basilica, the building of Eumachia and from the other buildings dedicated to the imperial cult.

A special focus is dedicated to Herculaneum (porch XXXV, rooms XL-XLII): the Forum, the famous bronze quadriga, which probably decorated the four- centered arch located in front of the Nonian Basilica, the theatre and the Augusteum.

The room which connects with the Northern branch of the porch (XLIV) houses the sculptures from Formia.

From the Northern porch (XLV), which exhibits sarcophagi and urns, visitors gain access to the room dedicated to ancient Capua, current Santa Maria Capua Vetere, where you can admire the sculptures which decorated the Campanian amphitheatre dating to the reign of emperor Antoninus. The set up is inpired to the same principle chosen by Michele Arditi for the so called “Cabinet of Venuses”, with the theme of eros as fil rouge of the works on display (Aphrodite, Adonis, Ganymede and other representations of Zeus’ love stories).

The internal room (XLVIII) houses sculptures form towns of Southern Lazio, like Cassino, Fondi e Minturno, which, in the Roman period, according to the territorial organization plannned by Augustus, were included in the regio I Latium et Campania.

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tag — Mann, Collezioni
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