13.10.2020The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces

The long-awaited Torlonia Marbles exhibition, which was designed by David Chipperfield Architects Milan, was inaugurated at the Villa Caffarelli in Rome 12 October in the presence of the President of the Republic, the Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Rome. The exhibition showcases a selection of almost 100 classical sculptures from the Torlonia Collection, a private collection begun by Prince Alessandro Torlonia in the nineteenth century that has not been on public display for several decades.

The exhibition design was inspired by the printed catalogue of the opening of the original Torlonia Museum in 1884 in which the works were presented on a black background. It consists of brick floors and plinths made by hand from grey clay creating a dark background from which the sculptures emerge. The plinths are conceived as architectural structures extruding seamlessly from the flooring. Each room also features a distinctive coloured background, visually dividing the exhibition into five chapters that illustrate the chronological evolution of the collection.

The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces was organised by Electa, promoted by the Torlonia Foundation and curated by Salvatore Settis and Carlo Gasparri. The lighting design was by Mario Nanni and the exhibition is sponsored by Bulgari. It will run until 29 June 2021.

Image © Clara Melchiorre