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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini) is made up of a group of art and archaeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome. The Capitoline Museums are composed of three main buildings surrounding the Piazza and interlinked by an underground gallery.

The Capitoline Museums contains many masterpieces of art, archaeology, and objects of historical significance.

A Tour of the Capitoline Museums

Masterpieces of the Capitoline Museums

  • Colossus of Constantine
    • The Colossus of Constantine was a massive sculptured statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (280–337) that once stood near the Forum Romanum in Rome. Large broken portions of the Colossus are now on display at the Capitoline Museums. Constantine was the first Christian emperor of Rome, and he had a profound effect on the development of the Roman and Byzantine worlds. After reunifying the empire, he established a new dynasty and founded a new capital, named Constantinople after himself. Christianity played an essential role in Constantine’s rule and his initiatives for reform and renewal in the Roman Empire.
  • Capitoline Wolf
    • The Capitoline Wolf represents the ancient legend of the founding of Rome; it is a bronze sculpture of the she-wolf suckling the twins, Romulus and Remus. The Capitoline Wolf takes its name from where it is housed in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. The wolf is depicted in a watchful pose with alert ears and glaring eyes watching. The human twins sculpted in a completely different style, are absorbed by their suckling. The She-wolf is the symbol of the city of Rome; it is one of the ancient symbols of Rome associated with its mythology and founding. It is a symbol that can be seen throughout Italy and Rome.
  • Dying Gaul
    • The “Dying Gaul” is an Ancient Roman marble copy of a lost Hellenistic sculpture that was initially executed in bronze. The sculpture portrays a Gallic warrior in his last moments, as he struggles from a fatal wound, his face contorted in pain. The marble sculpture depicts a naked man with a Celtic torc around his neck, on the ground atop his shield, wounded and supporting himself with one arm, the other resting weakly on his bent leg. The hand on the ground is next to a broken sword; his head is bent down to the point where we can’t see his face. He is bleeding from a chest wound on the left side of the rib cage, and he is slowly dying.
  • Boy with Thorn
    • The “Boy with Thorn” is a Greco-Roman Hellenistic bronze sculpture of a naked boy sitting on a rock pulling a thorn from the bottom of his foot. The boy has been identified as a young shepherd. The image of the extraction of a thorn from the foot was invented in the Hellenistic period and originated from the interest in observing everyday life actions and representing real-life situations. Many copies have been made of this image in bronze and marble. In this sculpture, the head, body, and rocky seat were cast together as one piece.
  • Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius
    • The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius depicts the famous Roman Emperor on horseback. The emperor is over life-size and extends his hand in a gesture used by emperors when addressing their army and legions. It is an image designed to portray the Emperor as victorious and all-conquering. It is believed that a conquered enemy had initially been part of the sculpture, based on accounts from medieval times. The reports suggest a figure of a bound barbarian chieftain once cowered underneath the horse’s front right leg. However, Marcus Aurelius is depicted without weapons or armor; he is portrayed as a bringer of peace rather than a military hero. That is how Marcus Aurelius saw himself and his reign. The statue was erected ca. 175 AD, during the Marcus Aurelius’s reign, but its original location is unknown and debated.
  • Self-Portrait by Giovanni Bellini
    • Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516) was a Renaissance painter who revolutionized Venetian painting, making it more sensuous and vibrant. He was also famous for his portraiture and helped make this art form especially popular in Venice. Bellini created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings, and his atmospheric landscapes had a significant effect on the Venetian painters, especially on his pupils Giorgione and Titian.

Capitoline Museums

  • Name:              Capitoline Museums
  • City:                 Rome
  • Established:     1734
  • Type:                Archaeology & Art Museum, Historic Buildings & Site
  • Address:          Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma, Italy

A Tour of Italian Museums

Rome Museums and Historical Sites

Florence Museums

Milan Museums

Bologna Museums

Capitoline Museums Map

 

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“Creating is the essence of life.”
– Julius Caesar

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Photo Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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