Palazzo Massimo

San Martino
24 January 2014
San Lorenzo
24 January 2014

Palazzo Massimo



The building, which is in neo-sixteenth-century style, was built between 1883 and 1887 as designed by Camillo Pistrucci, in an area that was previously occupied by the Villa Peretti, which had been built by Sixtus V and was the home of the Massimo family.

The area pertaining to the Villa was gradually eroded in order to allow the construction of buildings and thesurrounding town layout, in particular for the building of the Stazione Termini.

It was acquired by the state in 1981 and it was subjected to substantial restoration and reinforcing work aimed at adapting the building for exhibition space.

Works such as sculpture – portraitsreliefsstatue portraits datable mostly from the late Republican age to the early imperial age, that testify the influence of Greek-Hellenistic art on the Roman artists are housed on the ground floor and the first floor.

The so-called Generale di Tivoli, Augusto as Pontefice Massimo da Via Labicana, the Fanciulla di Anzio, the Efebo da Subiaco, the Afrodite da Villa Adriana are among the most significant works of art on display.

It is then possible to follow the typological evolution of the official Roman portrait through a series of works that document the styles adopted in the imperial age on the basis of the features of the emperors.

Some of the more well­known decorative elements discovered on estates in Rome, characte­rised by particular luxury and elegance are exhibited on the second floor.

Even if there are much fewer Roman wall paintings than those found in the Pompeii and Herculaneum area, Rome still has several examples of an exceptional artistic level.

Several paintings from the Villa di Livia in Prima Porta which have undergone careful restoration work which has brought back to light their original colours and details, and the decorations of the Villa della Farnesina, probably imperial property, of which four rooms of the nine preserved have been reconstructed, are also on display.

These are particularly exquisite examples, which date from around 20 BC Several examples of floor mosaics from the Republican age can also be seen, they are in black and white with small polychrome squares in the centre and floors with more complex portraits from the imperial age are also featured.

The Museum‘s numismatic collection is particularly important.

It is kept in a special vault in the basement. The vault was installed during the most recent works on the building. The coins on display are evidence of the use of this element in the old; medieval and modern ages.

There are many unique examples and rarities. The collection of the former Museo Kircheriano, the Gnecchi collection and the medieval and modern collection of Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoia are among the collections on display. 

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