The first monographic exhibition dedicated to the greatest sculptor of the classical age. An extraordinary journey through the artist's life and work, with over 100 works, some exhibited for the first time, including archaeological finds, paintings, manuscripts, drawings, multimedia installations.
«Nessuno supererà mai Fidia»
Auguste Rodin, L’art, 1911
FIDIA. A central character in the Athens of Pericles, his name is known to all for the creation of works such as the Parthenon and its sculptural decorations and the mythical chrysoelephantine colossi of Athena Parthenos and Zeus of Olympia, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
His creative genius stamped an indelible mark on the collective imagination and continues to inspire contemporaries.
A very important, almost legendary figure, although surrounded by an aura of mystery. Many details of his life are in fact little known and knowledge of his work is based mainly on replicas and literary sources.
The exhibition 'FIDIA' takes visitors on an unexpected and surprising journey into the life, career and cultural-historical climate in which the great sculptor worked, through a vast and valuable selection of more than 100 works - including archaeological finds, Greek originals and Roman replicas, paintings, manuscripts, drawings, some exhibited for the first time.
The exhibition is the first of a series of five exhibitions, "I Grandi Maestri della Grecia Antica", aimed at introducing the general public to the main protagonists of Greek sculpture. A cycle that is all the more significant in Rome, the city from which come important testimonies of Phidias' activity and his rediscovery from the Renaissance onwards, through the precious Roman copies of original masterpieces that for the most part have been lost.
The exhibition is divided into 6 sections: Il ritratto di Fidia; L’età di Fidia; Il Partenone e l’Atena Parthenos; Fidia fuori da Atene; L’eredità di Fidia; Opus Phidiae: Fidia oltre la fine del mondo antico.
In addition with the artworks coming from the Sistema Musei di Roma Capitale - Musei Capitolini, Centrale Montemartini, Museo di Scultura Antica Giovanni Barracco and Museo di Roma - and from important Italian institutions, including the Museo Archeologico di Bologna, the Accademia di Belle Arti di Ravenna, the Museo Archeologico di Napoli and the Archivio Cambellotti, the exhibition boasts loans from the most important museums in the world, including: Museo dell'Acropoli, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Museo Epigrafico in Athens; Museo Archeologico in Olympia; Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Musei Vaticani; Museo del Louvre and Museo Rodin in Paris; Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung in Frankfurt; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen; Staatsbibliothek and Staatliche Museen, Antikensammlung in Berlin.
In some cases, these are extraordinary loans, i.e. works that have never before left their museum premises, such as the two original fragments from the Parthenon frieze, more precisely a fragment from the north frieze with an hoplite, a 'Greek soldier', and a fragment from the south frieze with a youth and a bovine, exceptionally granted by the Acropolis Museum in Athens. These are joined by two other original fragments with horsemen and bearded men from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Other exhibits include a vase engraved with the inscription "Pheidiou eimi" (I am Phidias) from the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the rare personal objects that have come down to us that belonged to a famous personage of antiquity; a replica of the shield of Athena Parthenos, the so-called Strangford shield - a Roman-era copy in Pentelic marble of the original belonging to the statue of Athena made of gold and ivory and placed in the cella of the Parthenon - from the collection of the British Museum; two bronze statuettes representing the figure of the craftsman (possibly identified with Phidias himself), exceptional loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina, Greece; the head of Athena Lemnia in marble, an Augustan copy of a Pheidian original, from the Museo Civico Archeologico in Bologna; the Hamilton Codex 254 (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin), a 15th-century manuscript containing the first image of the Parthenon to reach Europe. Of great interest is the loan of the so-called Carrey notebook (1674) from the French National Library, in which the decoration of the Parthenon before the explosion that destroyed it in 1687 is reproduced. Also on loan is a model of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia made in 1997 by M. Goudin, a partial reconstruction in lime and walnut wood, lent by the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
Visitors are also supported by multimedia installations and digital content: in the third section, dedicated to 'The Parthenon and the Athena Parthenos', a unique opportunity is offered to be transported back in time and to relive a visit to the monument through the installation Phidias and the Parthenon. An interactive and immersive experience inspired by virtual and augmented reality models. On the one hand, the scenic plane consists of a large photorealistic projection that reconstructs the Acropolis and Parthenon in 3D and allows the user to move in flight around the temple, changing the sunlight throughout the day, from dawn to dusk; on the other hand, a touch interface offers a sort of 'X-ray' of the Parthenon and access to all the scientific insights, such as the exploration of certain architectural details.
Among the collateral activities within the exhibition, the Capitoline Superintendency confirms its commitment to accessibility issues, with a programme of integrated guided tours accompanied by LIS - Italian Sign Language - interpreters, thanks to the collaboration of the Department of Social Policies, Personnel Services Directorate of Roma Capitale.
Visits for visually impaired and blind people will soon be available, by reservation upon request. Models from the State Tactile Museum 'Omero' and a plaster cast from the School of Ornamental Arts of Roma Capitale taken from the head of Athena from the Palagi collection, now at the Civic Museum of Bologna, which was chosen for the exhibition poster, have been loaned.
Finally, accompanying the exhibition is the catalogue 'FIDIA' published by L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER. Essays by Claudio Parisi Presicce, Riccardo di Cesare, Giovanni Marginesu, Massimiliano Papini, Nikolaos Stampolidis, Alessandra Avagliano, Annalisa Lo Monaco, Elena Ghisellini, Eugenio La Rocca, Eloisa Dodero.
«L’ERMA» di BRETSCHNEIDER
From 24 November 2023 to 5 May 2024
Every day 9.30 - 19.30
24 and 31 December 9.30-14.00
Last admission one hour before closing time
Closed: 25 December
Before planning the visit, CONSULT THE NOTICES