Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Evan Gorga Collection at Palazzo Altemps

John and I are fascinated by a 2014 addition to the Palazzo Altemps branch of the Museo Nazionale Romano. According to my research Evan Gorga was a tenor and a compulsive collector of both musical instruments and fragments of Roman antiquity which he gave to the Italian State in 1949.
Apparently 1800 Roman fragments are now on show (out of hundreds of thousands -- all collected in the late 19th and early 20th centuries).
We feel that they give a very personal insight into the world of ancient Rome.
decorative objects,
molded glass from Imperial Rome,
bone dolls and game pieces,
ivory and bone
votive objects,
tiny bronze figurines,
little satyr,
with beautiful painting,
fragments of fresco painting,
on stucco,
so fresh after millennia,
Pan with thyrsus (wand of giant fennel) and pine cones,
Shepherd with pan-pipes,
Maenad inside a medallion,
Mosaic glass pieces
all give us a vivid image of domestic life Ancient Rome.
Despite its size and weight, and that it is written entirely in Italian, we're tempted to buy this comprehensive book on Gorga's collection.


  1. This is quite revelatory indeed!
    Those glass mosaics with the circles like orange slices are really striking.

  2. It was a fascinating collection, Lisa. Apparently, Mr Gorga also was a compulsive collector of musical instruments and a famous tenor.