Il modello del “virtuoso” nella cultura antiquaria del XVIII secolo a Catania: dalle reliquie di Vincenzo IV ai reperti di Ignazio V di Biscari
In: Studi e Ricerche del Parco Archeologico di Pompei: 43, 2020
Ignazio Paternò Castello, fifth prince of Biscari (1719-1786), represents one of the best known figures of the XVIII century Sicilian antiquaria. His fame was so big to generate the myth of the antiquarian prince and archaeologist ante litteram, often evoked even today. In retrospect, we can say that was an exaggeration; indeed, the prince himself, while alive, had contributed to the construction of this myth, following the model of the heroic virtue underpinning the ideology of the Catania aristocracy over the century. Looking at this heroic ideal, the present paper aims to follow the development of the antiquarian vision of Ignazio V, through a history of his museum of antiquity and his relationship with ancient objects, in the broader context of antiquaria and antiquities collection in Catania. Latest research on the topic as well as the retrieval of unpublished documents allow to have a better understanding of certain aspects and protagonists of those times.