Only a few steps away from Piazza Navona there is Palazzo Altemps, the superb Renaissance residence of the cardinal of the same name, rich in frescoes and valuable decorations, the collections of ancient statuary of the great Roman noble families are exhibited, which also include Egyptian testimonies. Among these is the Boncompagni Ludovisi collection, with Magna Graecia masterpieces such as the Ludovisi Throne, Hellenistic like the suicidal and imperial Galata group like the sarcophagus with battle scenes known as Grande Ludovisi. The exhibition of part of Evan Gorga's archeology collection is open to the public since 2013.
The museum has thus opened up to the theme of early twentieth-century collecting that draws on the antiquarian market, and the findings of the great excavations of that era, comparing it with that of the great Renaissance families of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, recounted by the prestigious collections of Palazzo Altemps.
The seat of the National Roman Museum of Palazzo Altemps illustrates in an exemplary way the assertion of collecting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The passion for beautiful things, but also the desire to exhibit the economic strength and political power of the family, induce Roman families to collect masterpieces. The aristocracy of the city, undoubtedly favored by the archaeological wealth of Rome, rivals the glories of collecting. This is demonstrated by the numerous works preserved in the museum and coming from the collections of sculptures of the Altemps, Boncompagni Ludovisi, Mattei, and of the marble reliefs of the Brancaccio and Drago families.The great political and religious importance of the Altemps family is undoubtedly evident in the church of Clemenza e di Sant’Aniceto which is known not only for the extraordinary richness of gilded stucco, colored marble, paintings and mother-of-pearl inlays, but also because it is the the only church within a private residence to house the relics of a saint, those of Aniceto, one of the first pontiffs. Pomarancio (Antonio Circignani), author of the frescoes with the history of the martyrdom of Aniceto was called to honor the saint's memory. It is here that Gabriele D’Annunzio married Maria Hardouin di Gallese in 1883, the last family to inherit Palazzo Altemps before it became the property of the Holy See in 1887.
Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 46
TUE 9:00 - 19:45
WED 9:00 - 19:45
THU 9:00 - 19:45
FRI 9:00 - 19:45
SAT 9:00 - 19:45
SUN 9:00 - 19:45
The ticket office closes one hour before