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unique in this respect-it has all the attributes; a most remarkable statue of Julius Cæsar, with the laurel crown found at Boville, where the Julian gens had a sacrarium; a noble one of Hortensius the orator; a Hesta that is believed by some to be pre-Phidian; a beautiful Prometheus; a seated Philosopher, that is indeed a remarkable work; portrait-statues of the Empress Livia-one seated, that is unique; also another seated statue of a beautiful woman. Besides these, there is a hall of the Muses; a grand hall of Athletes-four were found in that sculptural mine of Porto, and one at Porto d'Anzio; a Cupid and Psyche far more lovely in expression than the famous Capitoline group; a pre-Phidian galley; a charming biga drawn by boars of bigiomorato and driven by Cupid-a most singular group,-the car is adorned with victorious insignia; an interesting hall of animals; and an imperial hall of busts; such a collection of portraits of the Roman Cæsars as does not exist elsewhere. Then there are fine bas-reliefs which have already served as important archæological illustrations-those from Porto, for example; great vases, exquisite in form, covered with the richest designs; huge slabs of costly precious stones and marbles.
The richness and beauty of this Torlonia Museum are difficult to represent through the feeble means of nomenclature and description. The Museum should be seen to be appreciated; but as that is impossible, at least for the present, I will endeavour to give an idea of it with as much brevity as the abundance of the material will allow.
When you enter, you seem lifted over into another sphere. A calm quiet which is inexpressibly charming reigns supreme throughout the halls; an enchanting solitude such as cannot be enjoyed in any other art collections, because those are open to all visitors on the same days and hours, and there is hardly a chance for simple mortals to secure a moment alone in them. It stands isolated in the centre of the great destructive human waves that dash up murderously like a lava-current only a few yards off, ruining priceless beauties of nature, and placing in peril some of the greatest works of art.* To artists, and to those minds who understand the exquisite enjoyment of art, of spiritual beauty, and high poetical sentiments, it may be compared to some lovely harem in an old Eastern tale, shut out from the world. Crowds pass and repass utterly unconscious of the unrivalled beauties that stand apart only the thickness of a wall! Over two hundred years ago
*The history of our day proves what Gregorovius says of medieval times, that Rome was never so much injured by Goths and Vandals as by her own people. The cutting away of the Farnesina gardens, which was done last year in the questionable enterprise of the Tiber works, is a most barbarous act. The noble groves of ilex trees that Hourished there, which were nearly three hundred years old, have been ruthlessly destroyed. Nor is this all the damage done. Not only does the bringing of the Tiber bed so close to the Farnesina building subject the foundations to the insidious infiltration of the river waters, but the digging of the land has given such a ruinous shock to the walls and ceilings of the villa, that the precious frescoes of Raphael and Sodoma, Galathea, the exquisitely pictured story of Cupid and Psyche, and the marriage of Roxana, have already great cracks in them, and are visibly crumbling away! In a few years they will exist only in tradition.
horses were neighing and stamping where now stand in godlike stillness those
"Things of beauty, a joy for ever.'
There, in the places of the passionate animal-surroundings o one of the most passionate women who ever reigned, are silent statues,visible memories of those far-off days of Homer and Theocritus; of Phidias and Praxiteles; of the period when were established for humanity perfect rules in perfect works, eternal models of the true and beautiful.
The rare good taste displayed not only in the distribution of this vast collection, but in the mode of exhibiting these sculptures, is worthy of note. The Prince has solved the hitherto impossible problem of arranging a gallery of art in such a way that the eye sees only three or four works at a time, while the beholder is conscious of the invisible presence of the others. The Vatican, Capitoline, and Louvre museums are imperfect in many respects; even the Glyptotheca of Munich and the Museum of Berlin leave a less perfect impression of all their masterpieces than might be obtained by a different arrangement. The too scarce lights, the false half-lights, and, above all, the confusion caused by having too many objects assembled in one place falling under the eye, so that it cannot escape seeing them, are exasperating. A sensitive student cannot examine statues an hour in the Louvre, especially in the galleries fronting the Seine: the nerves of the eye and brain are painfully tortured by the glare of the sun and reverberation of light on the water and white stone walls outside, mingled with the gaudy colouring of the ceiling decorations. On the contrary, in the Torlonia Lungara Museum, the eye is not only spared fatigue, but is reposed by the clever arrangement.
The light is of course from above. The old stables are made into long galleries, divided by partitions of cloth of a soft, warm red-brown colour; and at short distances, again, subdivided into cabinets by curtains of the same material looped back on either side. Each cabinet contains two large statues placed opposite one another. In each of the corners is a bust, a head, or statuette, and most of them are masterpieces. Thus you can stand at one end of a long corsia or gallery and look through the looped-back curtains the entire distance of ten cabinets and see only the great group, the standing or seated statue at the termination.
The whole collection is divided into four galleries; these galleries have four long corsie or avenues; twelve sale or rooms; and one imperial sala or hall. There are five hundred and twenty pieces in all,— statues, busts, and vases. The four avenues are the first divisions you visit. There are ten cabinets in each avenue. When you enter a cabinet nothing recalls to you the numberless marbles that stand behind the curtains on all sides; you perceive only the contents of the cabinet, can give your entire attention to the few works standing before you, and are not distracted by the sight of others. Thus you can examinę
at your leisure, without fatigue or disturbance, a few master-works at a time.
Where there are so many masterpieces as in the Torlonia Lungara Museum it is difficult to select specimens. I will, however, mention a few of the works which may serve as samples of the contents of this beautiful collection.
The most remarkable statue in the Torlonia Lungara Museum is the Minerva. It came from the Prince's excavations at Porto, where it adorned the imperial palace of Trajan. Porto-Portus Trajana-that famous suburb of Ostia, was founded by Trajan as a new seaport at the mouth of the Tiber, and became another city in splendour and importance. Trajan built there a superb palace, which has been one of the most fruitful relics of antiquity for modern times, and has yielded treasures and treasures of statues, columns, and bas-reliefs. The palace was entirely lost at one period. A man hunting a badger that disappeared suddenly in a hole, thrust his stick down and found that it entered into space. The spot was examined, a vast hall discovered, which had been the refuge of whole worlds of insects for centuries; and when the exploration was continued, a veritable labyrinth of halls and corridors opened before the explorers: so vast was the construction that they had to use the compass to direct their steps as in an unknown forest. This great building contained splendid halls; an imperial basilica, like the one on the Palatine; several temples-one to Hercules; a theatre-for Trajan loved the pantomime passionately; also an immense portico. A century ago, when this portico was standing and little was known about the ancient history of the magnificent edifice, it was called il Palazzo delle cento colonne. All the land of Porto belongs to Prince Torlonia. He has had the almost unrecognisable ruins of the imperial palace thoroughly explored, and most of its sculptural and other marble treasures have gone to enrich the Roman Lungara Mu
The great Porto or Torlonia Minerva has never been seen by the public. She stands in a sort of sanctuary with full-sized casts of the Vatican and Capitoline Minervas facing her. These alone are considered her fitting companions-for the claim is that she surpasses those famous representations of the most beautiful Phidian type that has come down to us.
The goddess is represented with all the emblems that recall her great and beneficent acts in favour of humanity according to ancient belief: she wears the ægis, helmet, and shield; at her right is an olive-tree, her gift to the Athenians; on one of its branches a serpent winds horizontally, emblem of wisdom and prudence. The drapery of the figure falls from the shoulders to the feet in rich ample folds which lie in straight lines, and are so arranged that the arms are left free. The neck and throat are uncovered; this, with the exquisite modelling of the neck, makes the Torlonia Minerva look taller than the Vatican and
Capitoline Minervas. The drapery of the Vatican Minerva is probably finer, but the face and head of the Torlonia Minerva are much grander. The casque has the same symbols as the Vatican Minerva, but it is more elegant in form than either of the other casques; it is delicate in shape, and adorns the head in a most graceful manner. The solemn sweet face, the beautifully modelled neck and throat, slightly framed by the falling hair, give the stamp of superiority to the Torlonia Minerva. The face, which has much more individuality than either of the other Minervas, is shaded by the helmet; the eyes are deep set, and the expression of the countenance most intelligent. She seems really conscious; her look appears to penetrate the hidden essence of all things. There is something finer than wisdom, too, in this expression,-a virginal tenderness that is almost rough in its frankness.
We will now go from this one of the most beautiful masterpieces of perfect Grecian art, to one of the most valued specimens of archaic monuments. The celebrated Giustiniani Hesta, 3d gallery, 5th hall, No. 395, was formerly well known to archæologists and artists, and was believed to be a work of the pre-Phidian school, one of the first expressions of a religious feeling in sculpture. She has not been seen since the last century. The Giustiniani collection went as a whole into the possession of Prince Torlonia's father, and was the nucleus of the TorÎonia Museum in the Lungara.
Hesta was the goddess of fire: thus the left arm in the Giustiniani Hesta is raised mejestically and the forefinger points up, as the emblem of the sacred flame. The other arm and hand are pressed tight against the body, indicating stillness and peace. The drapery is considered curious, as a first attempt at covering the body; the folds are solid, straight from the neck to the ground; this heaviness gives the figure the appearance of a Hermes. For a long while the wise archæologists said it had no feet, but a clever woman detected at the back of the base of the statue the indication of the left foot lifted as in the act of moving. Standing beside this Hesta is a smaller one (No. 393), in which the image has become less archaic; the hand lying against the body is curved, and the feet are visible. In the presence of the large and small Hesta, you can follow the transition through which the physiognomy, gestures, attitudes and draperies passed from the stiffness of archaism to the divine freedom of the Phidian epoch.
The Venus, 1st gallery, 2d corsia or avenue, No. 104, is the one of which I have already related that some adequate judges think it is equalled in art-merit only by that of Milo; and others go so far as to say that it surpasses it. The face has the type of the Milo Venus. The body is nude; the left hand holds a drapery which falls over a vase standing on the ground beside the goddess. There is a graceful suppleness, a fullness of life, a majesty of lines in the body, such as Phidias gave to his Caryatides in the Nika temple on the Acropolis. All the lines are undulating. The pose has that noble ease and freedom-especially about the shoulders and middle of the body-which is so admired in the two female sitting statues that belong to the front
piece of the Parthenon, called the "Elgin Marbles." This curved line, this desinvoltura in the attitude, is rarely found elsewhere, although it is beautifully indicated in the Venus of Milo; but on comparing the two it will be seen that it is not so accentuated in the Milo as in this splendid statue of the Torlonia Museum. The modelling of the back is most beautiful and remarkably fleshy. There is an expression of grave simplicity in the whole figure. The movement and action are entirely free from self-consciousness or shame. It is more grandiose than the Milo in this regard; and its beauty is more ideal and elevated than any existing statue of the goddess. If not made by Phidias, it certainly belongs to the very brief time governed by the Phidian spirit, principles, and traditions.
The Venus dei Medici has been regarded for two centuries as the celebrated work of Praxiteles, -the one that was valued as the most perfect type of physical beauty. Some coins of Cnidos are in existence, on which is a nude Aphrodite, known to be a copy of the Praxitelean Venus. Thus, when the Venus dei Medici was restored, after its discovery at Rome in the Portico of Octavia, the action and movement of the statue were made to correspond with the Venus on the Cnidian coin.
Pliny tells of a Venus attributed to Phidias, chiselled in a marble of exquisite beauty, which stood in the Portico of Octavia in his day. The Venus dei Medici, as I have said above, was found in the Portico of Octavia, Rome, in the early part of the seventeenth century; but no one has ever thought of attributing it to Phidias, or to the Phidian school. Probably the Torlonia Venus is the one of Phidias of which Pliny speaks. She surely represents the Phidian religious type, which was always treated in an aphoristic way, -as a holy goddess-majestic, divine, full of purity; in a word, that beauty which is goodness, as the Greeks said,-calos kai agathos-"beautiful and good."
The Venus dei Medici, on the contrary, is an expression of a later Greek day, the Praxitelean period, when the original pure idea of the Venus had passed away--its fine meaning was lost the sensual form alone remained. Lucian gives an exact description of the Cnidian Venus of Praxiteles. That Venus was conscious; it had a gesture of shame such as we see in the Venus dei Medici; while the Torlonia has neither this expression nor gesture. It is a higher type of beauty; it represents the ancient Greek idea, when the goddess was regarded as the Celestial Aphrodite; the Venus Uranus, a symbol of perfect harmony and beauty in nature-Cosmos-emerging from the "waters," signifying in Hesiod, and ancient primitive symbols, as well as in the Bible, the first confusion of all elements.
In the 3d gallery, 5th hall, No. 280, is an Apollo, which should be ranked with the above-named statues. Like the Minerva, it came from the marvellous Porto imperial palace, and has never been in any public gallery. The god is represented as the Pythian Apollo with all his attributes. He holds in his left hand the bow; the right arm leans on the sacred tripod symbol of the oracle, around which the fatidical serpent