La "ragguardevole compra" delle statue antiche di Villa d'Este a Tivoli per il Museo Capitolino (1753)
In: Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma: 118, 2018
The perusing of the documents preserved in the Modena State’s Archive has permitted to throw new light on one of the most important groups of sculptures displayed in the Musei Capitolini. It was thus possible to understand better the several steps which led to the sale of the thirteen ancient sculptures collected by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este for his villa in Tivoli. As documented by the longlasting negotiations for the sale (1753), Pope Benedetto XIV Lambertini disagreed with the exportation of that extraordinary collection outside the Church State and preferred to make it available to everybody – albeit partially – by exhibiting it in the museum inaugurated by his predecessor on the Campidoglio. In that place visitors, lovers of the Antique, connoiseurs, as well as artists who drew d’après l’antique could finally appreciate the sculptures of Villa d’Este. Not surprisingly, four of those sculptures were included among the 100 masterpieces of ancient art that Napoleone Bonaparte obtained from Pope Pio VI, as a consequence of the Treaty of Tolentino (1797).