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Capitoline Museums: the restoration of the Hall of the Horatii and Curiatii finally completed

Restoration work of the Hall of the Horatii and Curiatii – the spectacular room located at the noble floor of the Palace of the Conservatives – has been completed after almost a year. Work has included the repairs of its leaking ceiling and the restoration of its water-damaged 17th-century frescoes. The Great Hall – also known as the Horatii and Curiatii Room for the subject of one of the frescoes – was used for the public hearings of the Council. The cycle of frescoes illustrates some episodes of the history of Rome as told by Titus Livius. The scenes depict a series of fake tapestries, wrapped with painted festoons of fruit and flowers, lustral vases and trophies of arms. There is also a fake marble decoration by Cesare Rossetti that runs along the lower parts of the walls with monochrome medallions which depict historical events.

The fresco decoration was carried out by Cavalier d’Arpino (born Giuseppe Cesari) between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. Originally conceived as tapestries to be hung along the walls, these frescoes portray historical episodes of Ancient Rome, including the war between Rome and the neighbouring city of Alba Longa, which resulted in the duel between the Romans, the Horatii brothers, and the Curiatii brothers of Alba Longa.

Two monumental statues of Popes face each other on the two smaller sides of the room: the one portraying Urban VIII Barberini (1623-1644) is in marble and was carried out by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his pupils between 1635 and 1640, while the bronze statue of Innocent X Pamphilj (1644-1655) is the work of Alessandro Algardi and was sculpted between 1645 and 1650.

Capitoline Museums – piazza del Campidoglio, 1. Tel. (+39) 06 0608  |  www.museicapitolini.org      

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