The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces
Collezione Torlonia. Invito alla danza © Fondazione Torlonia. Photo by Lorenzo De Masi.


Gallerie d’Italia
Piazza della Scala, 6, 20121 Milano MI


25 May 2022 - 18 Sep 2022


Editors’ Pick

The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces

More than 90 works selected among the 620 catalogued marbles that belong to the Torlonia collection, the most important private collection of ancient sculptures. The scientific project for enhancing the collection is entrusted to Salvatore Settis. Mr Settis is curating the exhibition with Carlo Gasparri, both archaeologists and academics of the Accademia dei Lincei.

The history of the Torlonia Museum at the Lungara (founded by Prince Alessandro Torlonia in 1875), with its 620 cataloged works of art, appears of outstanding importance. This collection is the result of a long series of acquisitions and some significant shifts of sculptures between the various residences of the Torlonia family.  The Torlonia marbles constitute a collection of collections or rather a highly representative and privileged cross-section of the history of the collecting of antiquities in Rome from the 15th to the 19th centuries.

The items on display are not only outstanding examples of ancient sculpture (busts, reliefs, statues, sarcophagi, and decorative elements) but also a reflection of a cultural process – the beginnings of the collecting of antiquities and the crucially important transition from the collection to the Museum: a process where Rome and Italy have had an indisputable primacy.

This event is the first stage of a traveling exhibition in major international museums and which will conclude with the identification of permanent exhibition spaces for the opening of a new Torlonia Museum.

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