Learn about Renaissance Restorations of Ancient Roman Art at the Palazzo Altemps once you have transferred from Civitavecchia to Rome
Learning about ancient Roman art is easy with Best NCC Roma’s drivers who will take you anywhere you want to go from Civitavecchia to Rome. When you picture sculptures from ancient Rome, you may conjure up images of headless, armless, and legless statues. Certain-ly, very few sculptures survived completely intact, yet in Renaissance and Baroque Rome (collec-tively called the Early Modern period) people felt that these valuable works should have their missing parts restored. It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that J.J. Winkelmann recognized the frag-mented original as beautiful and worthy of study. Repairing ancient sculptures was a booming industry in Early Modern Rome. Sculptors such as Gianlorenzo Bernini, his great rival Alessandro Algardi, and many other lesser-known artists repaired these sculptures as part of their early training. Many sculptures were unearthed during the numerous construction projects from Civi-tavecchia to Rome and beyond. Then they were transferred to the sculptors’ workshop to be re-paired before being transferred to the palaces of the nobility of Rome.
From Civitavecchia to Rome to the Palazzo Altemps
The Roman art aficionado should visit the Palazzo Altemps on any jaunt from Civitavecchia to Rome. The Palazzo Altemps, now one of the many art museums in Rome, provides an excellent context for the treatment of ancient art in Early Modern Rome. The sculptures’ have explanatory plaques with diagrams that show which parts of the sculpture are original, which parts are early modern additions, and which parts are modern repairs made to conserve the object. Ancient Roman art was often considered the best template for artists to study. The possession of these art works showed the collector’s cultural sophistication, wealth, and could even alluded to a no-ble family’s ancient roman ancestors. As a result, ancient sculptures from many collections were sketched and published as books. Early modern sculptors often referred to these books as tem-plates when faced with attempting to repair broken sculptures to their original form. Sometimes, the original form was relatively clear, as in the case of the Ludovisi Mars. Bernini re-stored the work by adding the sword pommel, foot, and cherub’s head. These restorations have a distinctive seventeenth-century style, but the positions are relatively accurate. The Torch Bearer, which Alessandro Algardi restored, was much more difficult. The original fragment was only a torso with the head and upper legs. Algardi added the arms, torch, and legs! As you wander around the museum, look at how these pieces were restored. The audio guide will also give you tons of interesting information about these works displayed in a Renaissance Palace. Keep an eye open for other kinds of restored artworks as you travel from Civitavecchia to Rome.
As you walk across the balcony, you will see several busts of Roman emperors. Early modern Romans liked to collect series, including the first twelve emperors of Rome, as outlined by Sueto-nius. If you couldn’t collect original ancient roman portraits for all twelve emperors, or even any, it wasn’t a problem. Sculptors could fill in the missing emperors’ portraits or create a whole se-ries imitating original ancient works, a style known as all’antica.
Transferring your ancestors to the palace chapel
If you have had a chance to visit the Catacombs of Callixtus on the Via Appia during your travels from Civitavecchia to Rome, you may remember the Crypt of the Popes. This was the original burial site for Pope Anicetus, who later was made a saint. Marco Sittico Altemps asked special permission to transfer the sacred remains of their ancestor from the catacomb to the fabulous chapel built on the piano nobile of the Palazzo Altemps in the second half of the sixteenth century.
When you have finished touring the palace, check out the fabulous gift shop for souvenirs! There are lots of interesting books, especially if you are curious about restoration practices. Much of today’s restoration techniques developed after the Arno flooded Florence in 1966. Did you know about that? Your Best NCC Roma driver will help you transfer to your next destinations and di-scoveries, anywhere from Civitavecchia to Rome.