Thursday, July 24, 2014

152. ... Roman fashion at the National Museum

The National Roman Museum is a complex of four properties, each exhibiting a different aspect of ancient Roman history … Founded in 1889, the museum's first aim was to collect and exhibit archaeological materials unearthed during excavations around the city after the union of Rome to the Italian Kingdom.

My ticket lasts for 3 days so I have plenty of time to criss-cross the city to check each museum ... and my first stop is the Palazzo Massimo ...

 

Palazzo Massimo

The initial core of the museum's collection originated from archaeological works assembled by the antiquarian and Jesuit priest, Athanasius Kircher, which previously had been housed within the Jesuit complex of Sant'Ignazio. The collection was appropriated by the state in 1874, after the suppression of the Society of Jesus. Renamed initially as the Royal Museum, the collection was intended to be moved to a Museo Tiberino (Tiberine Museum), which was never completed. 

 

In 1901 the State granted the National Roman Museum the recently acquired Collection Ludovisi as well as the important national collection of Ancient Sculpture. Findings during the urban renewal of the late 19th century added to the collections. Its seat was established in the Charterhouse designed and realised in the 16th century by Michelangelo within the Baths of Diocletian, which currently houses the Epigraphic and the Protohistoric sections of the modern Museum, while the main collection of Ancient Art was moved to the nearby Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, acquired by the Italian State in 1981. 

 

The palace was built on the site once occupied by the Villa Montalto-Peretti, named after Pope Sixtus V, who had been born Francesco Peretti. The present building was commissioned by Prince Massimiliano Massimo, so as to give a seat to the Jesuit Collegio Romano, originally within the convent of the church of Sant'Ignazio. 

In 1871, the Collegio had been ousted from the convent by the State which converted it into the Liceo Visconti, the first public secular high school of Italy. Erected between 1883 and 1887 by the architect Camillo Pistrucci in aneo-cinquecentesco style, it was one of the most prestigious schools of Rome until 1960. In 1981, lying in a state of neglect, the Italian State acquired it for 19 billion lire and granted it to the National Roman Museum. Its restoration and adaptation began in 1983 and completed in 1998, eventually becoming the main seat of the Museum. 

 

First up - it is fascinating observing the dress and hair styles of the Roman women - most of the men seemed to wear either nothing or a suit of armour ... !!! ... but the Roman women were certainly very stylish - as can be seen by their various hairstyles and couture ... 


 








  
 






  detail ...










 

   But not all is as it seems in Ancient Rome ...



the beautiful Sleeping Hermaphrodite 

and in total contrast ...

The ancient pugile ( boxer ) with his scared face ...

detail ...


 
  
And the Roman male was certainly style-conscious as well  
when it came to his haircut and fashion accessories ...







 










  








The Portonaccio Sarcophagus
belonging to Aulus Iulius Pompilius - 175 AD


detail ...






Next post I'll continue my exploration of ancient Rome with a look at the stunning mosaics and frescoes found here at the National Museum ...