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Encyclopedia > Capitoline Museums
Michelangelo's design for Capitoline Hill, now home to the Capitoline Museums. Engraved by Étienne Dupérac, 1568.
Michelangelo's design for Capitoline Hill, now home to the Capitoline Museums. Engraved by Étienne Dupérac, 1568.

The Capitoline Museums (Italian Musei Capitolini) are a group of art and archeological museums on top of the famous Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The museums are contained in three palazzos surrounding a central trapezoidal piazza in a plan conceived by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536 and executed over a period of over 400 years. The history of the museums can be traced to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of important ancient bronzes to the people of Rome and located them on Capitoline Hill. Since then, the museums' collection has grown to include a large number of ancient Roman statues, inscriptions, and other artifacts; a collection of medieval and Renaissance art; and collections of jewels, coins, and other items. The museums are owned and operated by the municipality of Rome. Download high resolution version (946x602, 181 KB)Campidoglio, Rome. ... Download high resolution version (946x602, 181 KB)Campidoglio, Rome. ... Events March 23 - Peace of Longjumeau ends the Second War of Religion in France. ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... A museum is typically a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education enjoyment, the tangible and intangible evidence of people and their environment. ... Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill The Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus Mons), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the famous and highest of the seven hills of Rome, the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad: the gods Jupiter, his wife Juno and... City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC mythical, 1st millennium BC Region Latium Mayor Walter Veltroni (Democratici di Sinistra) Area  - City Proper  1290 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,546,807 almost 4,000,000 1... The quintessential medieval European palace: Palais de la Cité, in Paris, the royal palace of France. ... A trapezoid (American English) or trapezium (British English) is a quadrilateral two of whose sides are parallel to each other. ... A piazza is an open square in a city, often used as a marketplace, found in Italy. ... Michelangelo (full name Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) (March 6, 1475 - February 18, 1564) was a Renaissance sculptor, architect, painter, and poet. ... // Events February 2 - Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina. ... This article is about the year 1471, not the BT caller ID service accessible by dialling 1-4-7-1. ... Sixtus IV, born Francesco della Rovere (July 21, 1414 - August 12, 1484) was Pope from 1471 to 1484, essentially a Renaissance prince, the Sixtus of the Sistine Chapel where the team of artists he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance to Rome with a masterpiece. ... Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast-metal sculpture of bronze is often called a bronze. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that existed in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East between 753 BC and its downfall in AD 476. ... Byzantine art was the high art of the Middle Ages and monumental Church mosaics were the crowing glory. ... By Region: Italian Renaissance Northern Renaissance *French Renaissance *German Renaissance *English Renaissance The Renaissance was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... Jewel can refer to Jewel, American singer. ... 1¢ euro coin A coin is usually a piece of hard material, generally metal and usually in the shape of a disc, which is used as a form of money. ...

Contents


Museums and collections

The Palazzo dei Conservatori is one of the three main buildings of the Capitoline Museums.
Enlarge
The Palazzo dei Conservatori is one of the three main buildings of the Capitoline Museums.

The Capitoline Museums are composed of three main buildings surrounding the Piazza del Campidoglio and interlinked by an underground gallery beneath the piazza.


The three main buildings of the Capitoline Museums are:

  • the Palazzo Senatorio, built in the 12th century and modified according to Michelangelo's designs;
  • the Palazzo dei Conservatori, built in the mid-15th century and redesigned by Michelangelo with the first use of the giant order column design; and
  • the Palazzo Nuovo, built in the 17th century with an identical exterior design to the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which it faces across the palazzo.

In addition, the 16th century Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino, located off the piazza adjacent to the Palazzo dei Conservatori, was added to the museum complex in the early 20th century. (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... In Classical architecture, a giant order is an order whose columns or pilasters span two (or more) storeys. ... For other meanings of the term, see column (disambiguation). ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the...


Capitoline Museum

The Capitoline Museum is located on two floors in the Palazzo Nuovo, and contains statues, inscriptions, sarcophagi, busts, mosaics, and other ancient Roman artifacts. Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ... Mosaic is a medium of art that may embody the most meaningful iconography in a cultures most important settings, as in the cathedral of Monreale (below), or it may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration. ...


Palazzo dei Conservatori Museum

The Palazzo dei Conservatori houses a museum of the same name, containing ancient sculpture, mostly Roman but also Greek and Egyptian. As of 2005, the Palazzo dei Conservatori Museum is currently undergoing major renovations, and most of the exhibition spaces are closed to public access.


The second floor of the building is occupied by the Conservator's Apartment, a space now open to the public and housing such famous works as the bronze she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus, which has become the emblem of Rome. The Conservator's Apartment is distinguished by elaborate interior decorations, including frescoes, stuccos, tapestries, and carved ceilings and doors. Romulus and Remus, (771 BC¹-717 BC Romulus, 771 BC-753 BC Remus), the legendary founders of Rome in Roman mythology, were the twin sons of the priestess Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war Mars. ... A XIV Century fresco featuring Saint Sebastian Note: Fresco is the NATO reporting name of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17. ... Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water which is applied to a surface in a paste-like consistency when wet and when dry becomes hard. ... This article is about tapestry the textile. ...


The third floor of the Palazzo dei Conservatori houses the Capitoline Art Gallery, housing the museums' painting and applied art galleries. The Capitoline Coin Cabinet, containing collections of coins, medals, jewels, and jewelry, is located in the attached Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino. 1¢ euro coin A coin is usually a piece of hard material, generally metal and usually in the shape of a disc, which is used as a form of money. ... A Medal can mean three things: a wearable medal awarded by a government for services to a country (such as Armed force service); strictly speaking this only refers to a medal of coin-like appearance, but informally the word also refers to an Order (decoration); a table medal awarded by... Jewel can refer to Jewel, American singer. ... Jewelry (the American spelling; spelled jewellery in Commonwealth English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made with gems and precious metals. ...


Galleria Congiunzione

The Galleria Congiunzione is located beneath the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the piazza itself, and links the three palazzos sitting on the piazza. The gallery was constructed in the 1930s. It contains in situ 2nd century ruins of ancient Roman dwellings, and also houses the Galleria Lapidaria, which displays the Museums' collection of epigraphs. // Events and trends The 1930s were spent struggling for a solution to the global depression. ... In situ (in place in Latin), a term used in: biology, where it means to examine the phenomenon exactly in place where it occurs (without removing it in some special medium etc. ... (1st century - 2nd century - 3rd century - other centuries) Events Roman Empire governed by the Five Good Emperors (96–180) – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. ... In literature, an epigraph is a quotation that is placed at the start of a work or section that expresses in some succinct way an aspect or theme of what is to follow. ...


Tabularium

The Tabularium, also located underground beneath the piazza, occupies a building of the same name build in the 1st century BC to hold important Roman records of state. The Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. (2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century - other centuries) The 1st century BC starts on January 1, 100 BC and ends on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) // Events The Roman Republic... The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum, although the Romans referred to it more often as the Forum Magnum or just the Forum) was the central area around which ancient Rome developed, in which commerce, business, trading and the administration of justice took place. ...


Architecture and design

An ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius is located on the central piazza, as envisioned by Michelangelo.
An ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius is located on the central piazza, as envisioned by Michelangelo.
An Italian euro coin shows a stylized depiction of the Marcus Aurelius statue over the distinctive pattern of the piazza.
An Italian euro coin shows a stylized depiction of the Marcus Aurelius statue over the distinctive pattern of the piazza.

The existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzos was created by famed Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti. The commission for the design was from the Farnese Pope Paul III, who wanted a symbol of the new Rome to impress Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who was expected in 1538. The location, the Capitoline Hill, had once been the heart of pagan Rome, though that connection was largely obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome. As a result, the piazza was already surrounded by existing buildings. Approximately in the middle, not to Michelangelo's liking, stood the only equestrian bronze to have survived since Antiquity, Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher emperor. Michelangelo provided an unassuming pedestal for it. Download high resolution version (960x1280, 259 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (960x1280, 259 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Marcus Aurelius alabaster bust. ... Image of euro coinage. ... Image of euro coinage. ... By Region: Italian Renaissance Northern Renaissance *French Renaissance *German Renaissance *English Renaissance The Renaissance was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... Michelangelo (full name Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) (March 6, 1475 - February 18, 1564) was a Renaissance sculptor, architect, painter, and poet. ... Pope Paul III, (1543) portrait by Titian (Tiziano Vecelli), Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples Paul III, né Alessandro Farnese (February 29, 1468 - November 10, 1549) was pope from 1534 to 1549. ... Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V (Spanish: Carlos I, Dutch: Karel V, German: Karl V.) (24 February 1500–21 September 1558) was effectively (the first) King of Spain from 1516 to 1556 (in principle, he was from 1516 king of Aragon and from 1516 guardian... Events Treaty of Nagyvarad. ... Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill The Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus Mons), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the famous and highest of the seven hills of Rome, the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad: the gods Jupiter, his wife Juno and... Marcus Aurelius alabaster bust. ...


Michelangelo completed a design for the piazza and remodelling of the surrounding palazzos. However, executing the design was slow work: little was actually completed in Michelangelo's lifetime, but work continued faithfully to his designs and the Campidoglio was completed in the 17th century, except for the paving design. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...

 The cordonata staircase designed by Michelangelo leads to the Piazza del Campidoglio.
Enlarge
The cordonata staircase designed by Michelangelo leads to the Piazza del Campidoglio.

Michelangelo provided new fronts to the two official buildings of Rome's civic government, which very approximately faced each other, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Senatore, which had been built over the Tabularium that had once housed the archives of ancient Rome. Michelangelo devised a monumental stair (the Cordonata) to reach the high piazza, so that the Campidoglio resolutely turned its back on the Roman Forum that it had once commanded, and he gave the space a new building at the far end, to close the vista. The Cordonata is a ramped stair that can be accessed on horseback by the sufficiently great, though it was not in place when Emperor Charles arrived, and the imperial party had to scramble up the slope from the Forum to view the works in progress. The unfolding sequence, Cordonata piazza and the central palazzo are the first urban introduction of the "cult of the axis" that would come to occupy Italian garden plans and reach fruition in France. Cordonata in Rome The Cordonata is a monumental stair to reach the high piazza of the hill Capitoline, the heart oft pagan Rome. ... The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum, although the Romans referred to it more often as the Forum Magnum or just the Forum) was the central area around which ancient Rome developed, in which commerce, business, trading and the administration of justice took place. ...


The Palazzo dei Conservatori was the first use of a giant order that spanned two stories, here with a range of Corinthian pilasters and subsidiary Ionic columns flanking the ground-floor loggia openings and the second floor windows. Another giant order would serve later for the exterior of St. Peter's Basilica. A balustrade punctuated by sculptures atop the giant pilasters capped the composition, one of the most influential of Michelangelo's designs. The sole arched motif in the entire design are the segmental pediments over the windows, which give a slight spring to the completely angular vertical-horizontal balance of the design. In Classical architecture, a giant order is an order whose columns or pilasters span two (or more) storeys. ... The Corinthian order as used for the portico of the Pantheon, Rome provided a prominent model for Renaissance and later architects, through the medium of engravings. ... Architects first real look at the Greek Ionic order: Julien David LeRoy, Les ruines plus beaux des monuments de la Grèce Paris, 1758 (Plate XX) The Ionic order forms one of the three orders or organizational systems of classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the Doric and... Villa Godi by Palladio. ... The Basilica of Saint Peter from Castel SantAngelo. ... Stairs, staircase, stairway, flight of stairs are all names for a construction designed to bridge a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps. ... A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section or gable found above the horizontal superstructure (entablature) which lies immediately upon the columns. ...


The bird's-eye view of the engraving by Étienne Dupérac shows Michelangelo's solution to the problems of the space in the Piazza del Campidoglio. Even with their new facades centering them on the new palazzo at the rear, the space was a trapezoid, and the facades did not face each other squarely. Worse than that, the whole site sloped (to the left in the engraving). Michelangelo's solution was radical. Since no "perfect" forms would work, his apparent oval in the paving is actually egg-shaped, narrower at one end. The travertine design set into the paving is perfectly level: around its perimeter, low steps arise and die away into the paving as the slope requires. Its center springs slightly, so that one senses that one is standing on the exposed segment of a gigantic egg all but buried at the center of the city at the center of the world, as Michelangelo's historian Charles de Tolnay pointed out. An interlaced twelve-pointed star makes a subtle reference to the constellations, revolving around this space called Caput mundi, the "head of the world". The quintessential medieval European palace: Palais de la Cité, in Paris, the royal palace of France. ... Travertine A carving in travertine Travertine, a natural stone, is a white concretionary form of calcium carbonate that is usually hard and semicrystalline. ...


The paving design was never executed by the popes, who may have detected a subtext of non-Christian meaning. Benito Mussolini ordered the paving completed to Michelangelo's design — in 1940. Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. ... 1940 was a leap year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ...


References

  • Capitoline Museums official website (English language version). Retrieved August 5, 2005.
  • "Michelangelo Buonarroti", August 1, 2005 version. Wikipedia.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Romeguide - Capitoline Hill, Campidoglio, Rome (604 words)
Formerly in the Lateran square, the Marcus Aurelius was moved to the Capitoline in 1538 and had not apparently been previously taken into consideration by Michelangelo as decoration for the square.
The Palazzo Nuovo contains the Capitoline Museum, which is well known both for the wealth of material and for the fact that is the oldest museum colection in the world.
The staircase of the Capitoline with the statue of the Dioscuri and the Palzza Senatorio
Rome Museums: major museums in Rome Italy: Vatcian Museums, Villa Giulia, Villa Borghese, Capitoline Museums (1590 words)
Surely worthy of visiting, the Museum keeps the largest modern painting and sculpture collection of the capital; here you'll enjoy works by artists covering the period from the 1850 to the present such as the Ippolito Caffi, Giovanni Fattori, the futurists Balla, Boccioni and Severini but also Van Gogh, Cezanne, Kandinsky and Mirò.
The house was bought in 1907 by Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and soon transformed in a museum.
Museum keeps a lot of antique books, first editions and manuscripts, some curiosities such as a Keath's curl.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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