From now until February 9, 2014 there is an amazing exhibition going on at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome that focuses on art and artifacts during the reign of Augustus. This exhibition recognizes the contribution that Augustus made in terms of making Rome a better city as well as establishing Rome as a major center for arts and architecture.
Of particular interest is the statue of the Augustus Prima Porta with its unique iconography, especially on the breast plate. This work “lives” at the Vatican, but it is not always possible to get such a close up view of the statue so that alone is worth the price of the ticket.
Like much of Augustan art, it is very political in nature and seeks to connect the reign of Augustus to the divine: a pattern that continued even after Augustus’ reign ended. We can see this in a number of the cameos and intaglios that are on display from museums all over. Other notable pieces are the Boscoreale treasures (these are at the Louvre so you might have seen them if you’ve been to Paris) as well as a plethora of statuary that shows the various portraits of members of Augustus’ family.
The exhibition is amazing and one of the best exhibitions that I have attended at the Scuderie. You will definitely learn a lot after your visit. Also, the signage is in both English and Italian.
How To Get There And Other Practical Information:
The museum isn’t hard to find: it’s at the top of the Quirinale: just look for the white tents/awning outside. To get there by public transport get off at Cavour (Linea B) or Repubblica (Linea A) and walk to the museum or simply walk from wherever you are in Rome (which I recommend since Rome is best seen on foot if you can manage it). Other options for reaching the Scuderie can be found on their web site.
Tickets cost 12 euro (full price).
The museum opens at 10:00 AM every day of the week (including Sundays and holidays) but closes at different times depending on the day of the week: 8:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday; 10:00 PM, Friday and Saturday; 8:00 PM on holidays regardless of the day of the week that they fall.
Statua loricata di Augusto, cd. Augusto di Prima Porta, 20 d.C.
Musei Vaticani, Città del Vaticano
© Archivio fotografico Musei Vaticani
© Governatorato dello Stato della Città del Vaticano
Special thanks to the museum’s press office for providing me the photo. Please note that this image is copyrighted (see above)