Thursday, June 23, 2016

Classical Sculpture at Palazzo Altemps

The Museo Nazionale Romano houses its collection of ancient Roman sculpture at the Palazzo Altemps.
Put this late 15th century palace and its collection on your short list of Roman museums if you like classical art.
We rediscovered the charms of the Altemps after attending the Olivier Roller opening there.
As an example of the riches of the Altemps, consider the mood of this 3rd century C.E. Head of a priest of Isis
The details of the palace architecture add to the fun.
John attempting to copy the severe expression of this 1st century C.E. Head of Hercules from the Ludovisi collection. When I showed John this picture he vowed to stop doing that thing with the corners of his mouth.
Here is a detail of another Hercules -- a Roman copy of a lost 5th century Greek original. That is the skin of the Nemian lion on his arm.
Mr Elmslie hard at work in front of a Colossal Group with Dionysius and a Satyr, another Roman copy. He's been discovering the camera in his phone on this trip.
Here's an example of what his phone can do. 
The Room of Painted Perspectives (Salle delle Prospettive Dipinti) contains charming late 15th century frescoes
of hunting scenes seen through false windows.
In another room I loved this marble sarcophagus with a Bacchanal procession.
This ancient fresco fragment seems to suggest that Italians have always needed to use their hands in conversation.
Another feature of the palace is the trompe-d'oeil decoration of one of the upper balconies.
This little grotto seems baroque or even rococo. 
Are the decorations exuberant enough for you?
We'll end with this lovely life-sized Artemis-Diana fragment
and a glimpse through a window into the Piazza Navona. Prime location indeed! 


  1. Thank you for posting such beautiful pictures.

  2. You're welcome, Linda. Glad you enjoyed.

  3. Thank you John and Bill!!! Amazing photos! We are going to Rome in July. You are inspiring us.
    Have a wonderful evening,

  4. our pleasure Mariana! Rome is inspiring!