December 13, 2011. (Romereports.com)
To mark Italy's 150th anniversary of unification, Rome's Galleria
Borghese has surprised the public with this monumental collection of
classical sculptures. They belonged to the Italian Cardinal Scipione
Borghese, and after nearly 200 years are back to their original
The 65 pieces that make up this spectacular collection have been loaned by the Louvre museum in Paris, and will be on display until April 9, 2012.Anna Colliva
Directora, Galleria Borghese (Italia)“I feel very excited, because what we used to study has now become a reality. The art pieces have their original color, setting, decor and even meaning, because each piece remained within its own iconographic context. So the statue that was dedicated for a room, gives the room life. Even the marble colors and decorations were chosen to connect the floor color with the statue.”
These art pieces are part of the world's largest and most important collection of classical art. They normally reside in the most prestigious halls of the Louvre. This group of sculptures and vases were selected by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the seventeenth century.
Years later, a member of the Borghese family, married to the sister of Napoleon, sold 695 pieces to France. Of these, Italy has managed to be able to exhibit 65 of these, while many more remained in Paris.
“I Borghese e l'Antico”“The 'Borghese Gladiator' and 'The Dying Seneca,' are very fragile works that have suffered some fractures. The Gladiator for example, when it was carried across the Alps by car, lost its chest and knee, and one leg was broken. So they can't be removed from the Louvre Museum.”
Still, many monumental sculptures can be seen such as the “Centaur ridden by Love” or the “hermaphrodite” by Canova. There is also the “Marine Venus,” “Sileno and the young Bacchus” and the “Borghese Glass”. Beside the beauty of the art pieces, the exhibition takes on that much more meaning thanks to their history with the Galleria Borghese.
The exhibit is part of a series of ten major exhibitions planned over ten years. So far it has collected works by Raffael, Canova and Caravaggio, but many say the grandness of the collection is in its great historical value. Anna Colliver
Director, Galleria Borghese (Italy) “For us, this is the most important exhibition because it's during the 150th anniversary of the Italy's unification. It shows that from the Borghese collection, the first Italian laws on artistic heritage were created. And this is proof that in Italy the culture was born first and then the nation.”
Thanks to its uniqueness, the Galleria Borghese is preparing a documentary on this collection to be submitted to the Rome Film Festival in 2012.