Apr 4, 2021

fake art:The Torlonia collection

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fake art:The Torlonia collection

The Torlonia collection is the most important private collection of ancient Greek and Roman marble and sculptures in the world, a set of 620 restored plastic portraits of mythical and historical characters: divinities, emperors, fauns, warriors, athletes, politicians, etc. which for historical, political and social reasons has been left for years in the Torlonia family’s deposits, and it is hoped that this collection will soon find a place in a permanent exhibition venue, in the creation of a new Torlonia Museum.

To bring this treasure to the attention and promote it, a large exhibition was organized: “I Marmi Torlonia. Collecting Masterpieces. ” which opened the exhibition spaces of the Capitoline Museums in Villa Caffarelli to the public, and can be visited until 29 June 2021.
Over ninety Greco-Roman works have been selected from the entire collection, and proposed thanks to an agreement of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism with the Torlonia Foundation, the Special Superintendence of Rome, and with the contribution of Bvlgari, which gave the possibility of an expensive restoration of the marbles, being the main sponsor of the exhibition.

In a backward journey that begins with the evocation of the Torlonia museum, founded in 1875 by the prince and banker Alessandro Torlonia, belonging to the famous Torlonia family adorned with the ducal title by various Popes, it remained open until the 1940s; the exhibition shows the history of this collection of finds, passing from the nineteenth-century finds of antiquity in the Torlonia properties, to the presentation of sculptures from the acquisitions of Villa Albani and the collection of the sculptor and restorer Bartolomeo Cavaceppi and the selection of marbles by Vincenzo Giustiniani, one of the most sophisticated Roman collectors of seventeenth-century antiquities, the exhibition displays an incredible magnificence of works that have immense value for the knowledge of the classical world and for the conduct through the meanders of the excellence of timeless artistic creation.

Alessandro Torlonia already a century and a half ago proposed his idea of ​​making his private collection a museum, an ambitious project since his birth; in 1884 the first catalog of the works of the Torlonia collection was published by Visconti who surveyed all the marbles. With the wars, the sculptures were secured in various private deposits of the family and never seen by the public again. In the 1960s, the Torlonia family began planning a definitive arrangement for the collection, but for different reasons all the various hypotheses put forward failed.

Then the Torlonia Foundation was born to give a modern method to the usual mission: to deepen, study, enhance the family heritage. The exhibition gives an input, a motivation to solicit the creation of a permanent museum that will give the opportunity to see and study the entire legacy of the Torlonia collection.

Davide Ferro

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