FONDAZIONE TORLONIA

The Fondazione Torlonia was founded at the behest of Prince Alessandro Torlonia with the aim of preserving and promoting both the Torlonia Collection - the most prestigious private collection of Greek-Roman sculptures in the world – and Villa Albani Torlonia, one of the highest expressions of eighteenth-century architectural taste. Together they constitute a “cultural heritage of the Family for humanity” to be handed down to future generations.

2020

Torlonia marbles

More than 90 marbles have been selected by Salvatore Settis and Carlo Gasparri from among the 620 marbles catalogued in the Torlonia Collection for the exhibition The Torlonia Marbles. Collecting Masterpieces which will open to the public on the 14th of October 2020 in Rome. A historic agreement signed in 2016 between the Fondazione Torlonia and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism constitutes the fruit of authentic collaboration between the public and private spheres in the interests of culture and will lead to a world tour of the collection to some of the most prestigious museums in the world, starting from the exhibition in the new display venue of the Capitoline Museums in Villa Caffarelli, and will culminate with the opening of a new Torlonia Museum to be open to the public on a permanent basis in Rome.

Torlonia Collection

The Torlonia Collection is known as the most important private collection of ancient art in the world. It is an exceptional assembly of works: sarcophagi, busts and Greco-Roman statues. resulting from acquisitions of the most prominent collections of Rome’s patrician families, as well as from excavation finds made on the Family’s own estates. It is a collection of collections, which, over the various stages of its constitution, wrote the very history of collecting antiquities.

Villa Albani Torlonia

Villa Albani Torlonia, with its collections, fountains, sculptures, stairways and frescos, and other opposite side of the Italian garden, the hemicycle of the Kaffeehaus, is a sublime testimony to that style midway between Rococo and Neoclassicism for which Rome became a favourite destination on the Grand Tour. The Villa was built in the mid-eighteenth century by the architect Carlo Marchionni, on the basis of a project heavily influenced by key figures such as Giovanni Battista Nolli, Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Johann Joachim Winckelmann in order to host the prestigious collection of antiquities (curated by Winckelmann himself) belonging to Cardinal Alessandro Albani, nephew of Pope Clement XI. The inscription in bronze letters on the façade recounts its history: Alexander Albani vir eminentissimus instruxit et ornavit / Alexander Torlonia vir princeps in melius restituit (“The emeritus Alessandro Albani built and adorned it / Prince Alessandro Torlonia restored and embellished it).

Conservation

The Torlonia Collection and Villa Albani Torlonia are two extraordinary artistic complexes which were destined to intertwine over the course of history, both preserved with great care under the aegis of the same Family, through their constant and scrupulous protection, which the Foundation has continued with major achievements: the opening of the Laboratori Torlonia for the study and restoration of the more than 600 Torlonia marble items, and the innovative conservation programme of Villa Albani Torlonia.