Torlonia marbles

The majestic consular sarcophagus from Via Ardeatina will welcome visitors, along with a group of Roman togates, into the wide-ranging spaces of the Galleries, where the colossal Dace prisoner - similar to the specimens from the Forum of Trajan- will find its ideal setting, alongside the recently restored portraits of Domitian and Antinous, part of the famous gallery of the Collection's 122 busts. The exhibition ends with a section entirely dedicated to restoration, where the 112-piece Hercules, previously exhibited in Rome, will dialogue with the sculpture of Leda with the Swan: in both works, various stages of the cleaning process are visible, illustrating the many challenges facing contemporary restoration.

The exhibition "I Marmi Torlonia. Collezionare Capolavori|The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces" is the result of an agreement between the Torlonia Foundation and the Ministry of Culture - along with the General Directorship of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape and the Special Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Rome - an authentic example of collaboration between the public and private sectors in the name of culture. Following the success of its Roman opening, the May 2022 appointment is the first stage of a tour of major international museums that will end with the identification of a permanent exhibition venue for the new Museo Torlonia; while, at the Laboratori Torlonia (workshop) in Via della Lungara, restoration of the Collection's many sculptures continues.The scientific project, curated by Salvatore Settis and Carlo Gasparri, is revealed in an exhibition path that, tracing a backward chronology through the history of collecting, highlights the exceptional relevance of the history of the Museo Torlonia at Lungara, founded by Prince Alessandro Torlonia in 1875. The works - busts, reliefs, statues, sarcophagi, and decorative elements - amount to more than 620 pieces, as described in the Museo Torlonia Catalogue of Ancient Sculptures (1884-85, curated by Carlo Ludovico Visconti, the first catalogue ever to be fully illustrated in phototype). They are not only highly distinguished examples of ancient sculpture but testify to a highly representative cross-section of the history of collecting antiquities in Rome from the 15th to the 19th centuries. A collection of collections, this is the result of a long series of acquisitions and mass movements of sculptures between the various residences of the Family up to the creation of the Museo Torlonia, marking the start of antique collecting and the transition to the great patrician collections, while representing a cultural process of fundamental importance in which Italy and Rome indisputably laid claim to a leading role.

The genesis of the Torlonia Collection is rooted in the Torlonia Family's passion for collecting antiquities, which finds its fulfilment in the Torlonia Foundation: established with the aim of preserving and promoting "the cultural heritage of the Family for humanity" to be handed down to future generations. Thanks to an agreement signed with the Foundation, and by virtue of the brand's Greco-Roman roots, Bulgari has contributed as main sponsor to the restoration of the works already on display in the Capitoline exhibition, restored to their original splendour after painstaking repairs at the Laboratori Torlonia. The restoration process is a moment of discovery in which new light may be shed on the history of the works. Various interesting discoveries emerged during the restoration process, such as the traces of colour on the 3rd-century AD relief of Porto. Gallerie d'Italia wanted to support this fundamental conservation work by contributing to the restoration of the Consular Sarcophagus and the sculpture of Leda, which meaningfully will open and close the exhibition.The catalogue of the restored works is published by Electa, organizer and producer of the exhibition while Sonnoli Studio was involved in the graphic identity. The coordinated image was the result of research and in-depth study into the typographic characters used in the historical catalogue of the Museo Torlonia.

The "T" of Torlonia thus became the guiding logotype for all communications, forming an integral part of the graphics and supports for the gallery of sculptures selected for the exhibition. In the Milanese venue, the design of the new layout was entrusted to architect Lucia Anna Iovieno, who will give a new reading and a personal interpretation of the exhibition, sharing all the planning stages with the curators.

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