La Collezione Borgia al Real Museo Borbonico e l'interesse per le antichità etrusco-italiche nel quadro della temperie culturale dell'epoca dei Lumi
In: Studi e Ricerche del Parco Archeologico di Pompei: 43, 2020
The collection arranged by the Borgia family from Velletri since the end of the seventeenth century and considerably increased by its most illustrious member, Cardinal Stefano Borgia, between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century played a significant role in the two-centuries history of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Taking advantage of the international relationships established thanks to his ecclesiastical function, he had set up in his noble residence the Borgianum Museum. There were in it not only antiquities and artefacts, but also ethnological and naturalistic objects, books, manuscripts and rare documents coming from the most distant places in the world, exhibited still as in the Wunderkammern, but ordered according to typological criteria, characteristic of the Enlightenment era. Part of the Borgia collection, admired by scholars of that epoch especially for its Egyptian and Etrusco-Italic antiquities, was acquired between 1817 and 1821 by the Royal Bourbon Museum. In particular, the paper is focused on this kind of artefacts included in the “Etruscan” (I) and “Volscian” (II) classes of the Borgianum Museum Catalogue, together with those listed in other classes but belonging to the same cultural sphere due to their production provenience or original context. These antiquities, which together with the Egyptian ones constituted the first link in the “chain of arts” imagined by Winckelmann, were exhibited by the will of the Royal Bourbon Museum director, Michele Arditi, in the “Cabinet of Etruscan, Oscan, Volscian and Ancient Greek objects”. In this way they further enriched the collections of the Neapolitan Institute, conceived as a universal museum of antiquities and arts, according to the Enlightenment principles.