Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco

 

in short

The Museo Barraco consists of a prestigious collection of antique sculpture – art from Assyria, Egypt, Cyprus, Phoenicia, Etruria, Greece and Rome – which Giovanni Barracco, a wealthy nobleman of Calabria, gave to the Municipality of Rome in 1904.
Farnesina ai Baullari
© Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco
Logo: Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco

Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco

in detail

Baron Barracco had dedicated his life to collecting such pieces, some acquired from antiques’ merchants, others recovered from the excavations which, at the end of the nineteenth century, marked the urban transformation of Rome as the capital of Italy. A small designated neoclassical palazzo was built to accommodate the collection, but, unfortunately, was destroyed during the works done to widen the Corso Vittorio. It was only in 1948 that the collection could be resettled in the “Farnesina ai Baullari” (the Farnese Palace in the street of the trunk makers), which was built in 1516 to a design of Antonio da Sangallo the young.
Egyptian art is represented from the earliest dynasty (3000 BC) until the end of the Roman era.
From Mesopotamia come the precious Assyrian slabs, which once decorated the walls of the palaces of Assurbanipal at Nineveh and Sennacherib at Nimrud, from the VII to the VI century BC.
Unusually for an Italian museum, there is a section dedicated to Cypriot art, in which a number of objects of unusual manufacture are displayed, such as the multicoloured votive cart and the head of Heracles from the VII-VI centuries BC.
The museum boasts numerous Greek originals, including works which give an exhaustive picture of the great sculptor Polyclitus and his school.
Roman art is represented by the head of a boy from the Julian family, an elegant example of private portraiture from the early imperial era (1st century AD).
Finally provincial art is included with three slabs from Palmyra, a caravanserai city which flourished in the II century AD.
The display finishes with a polychrome mosaic from the first church of St Peter in Roma, which dates from the XII century AD.
Farnesina ai Baullari
The current building in which the Museum Barracco is housed is an elegant little renaissance palace which Thomas Le Roy, a prelate of Breton origin, built as his private residence in 1523. Le Roy, Regis in Latin, had come to Rome following the emperor Charles VII, and had acquired esteem with the Roman Curia for having collaborated on the stipulation of the agreement of 1516 between Pope Leone X and the Emperor Francis I. In recognition of his diplomatic activities, he was granted the right to reproduce in his coat of arms the symbol of the land of France, “the lily”, which we see sculpted on the pavements of the building, alternating with the ermine, the symbol of his land. From this decorative element comes the name of the “Piccola Farnesina ai Baullari”, in harmony with the nearby Palazzo Farnese and referring also to the area in which it was built, known as the Street of the Trunk Makers.
The building is traditionally attributed to Antonio da Sangallo, due to a drawing conserved in the Uffizi in Florence, although there is no other documentation to confirm this idea
Le Roy never lived in the building and his heirs soon sold it to others.
Notable among the nobles families who owned the property, are the Silvestri, an Abruzzi family, who emphasised their occupation of the building with the creation, in the early years in the 1700s, of frescos which are still present today in the first floor loggia. A putto holds in its hand a scorpion, the heraldic symbol of the Silvestri, in the side lunettes are visible the Bees of the Barberini family to whom the Silvestri were related.
The building became the property of Conte Linotte in the first half of the Nineteenth Century, and was subsequently sold to the Lawyer Iorio. In 1885 the Municipality acquired it from his heirs when they had to intervene in the area as part of the new regulatory plan.
Rome had only been the capital of Italy for a short time and it was necessary to create the route of the Corso Vittorio. To achieve this the Tomarozzi houses, adjacent to the Farnesina, were destroyed, and the latter, acquired by the Municipality, became a national monument.
The current lay out of the building is a result of the restoration project by the Architect Guj, which restored the original roofing, created a second entrance from Piazza dei Baullari, and rendered the Corso Vittorio facade in the image of the sixteenth century prospect of the Vicolo dell’Aquila.
During the work done to create the flight of stairs onto Piazza dei Baullari a number of architectural elements, remains of a late-Roman building, came to light.
The building had been used as the offices of numerous institutions, but it was only in 1948 that it was first used as a museum space, when the archaeological collection, which Baron Giovanni Barracco had donated to the City of Rome long ago in 1904, was established there. The precious collection of sculpture, shut up in packing cases in the storerooms of the Capitoline Museums during the Second World War, had not had a location ever since the elegant building in which it had been collected, was destroyed in 1938 due to planning regulations.
Admission
Intero € 4,50 - Ridotto € 3,50 Adults € 4,50 - Concessions € 3,50
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keywords

Visitor entrance

Farnesina ai Baullari
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 166/A 00186 Roma
Rome
Italy
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Opening Times

Sun
09:00 - 19:00
Mon
-
Tue
09:00 - 19:00
Wed
09:00 - 19:00
Thu
09:00 - 19:00
Fri
09:00 - 19:00
Sat
09:00 - 19:00
La biglietteria chiude mezz'ora prima.
The ticket office closes half an hour in advance.

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