Museo nazionale di Napoli.

Illustrated guide to the National Museum in Naples, sanctioned by the Ministry of education; online

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Illustrated G.uiDF,.,;;-


liN Naples



G. DE PETRA. formerly Director of the Natio-
nal Museum and professor at the University of
Naples. — A. SOGLL\NO. Director of the Ex-
cavations at Pompei and professor at the Univer-
sity of Naples. — G. PATRONI , Professor at
the University of Pavie. — L. MARIANI, Pro-
fessor at the University of Pise. — E. GABRICI,
Director of the Coin Collection in the Natio-
nal Museum. — D. BASSI , Director of the
Collection of Papyri from Herculaneum. —
O. MARUCCHI , Director of the E^^^ptian Col-
lection in the Vatican. — A. CONTI, Director
of the Picture Gallery in the National Museum.



• • • . • . ,

• • • • • • •

•-• • • • . .• J


• • •

• • • •

' • • 1

All rights reserved.



This guide book is, with the exception of those pages
describing the Picture Gallery, an excerpt from the ency-
clopaedic « Guida lUustrata del Museo Nazionale di Na-
poli, approvata dal Ministero della Fubblica Istruzione,
compilata da D. Bassi, E. Gabrici, L. Mariani, O. Ma-
riicchi, G. Patroni, G. de Petra, A. Sogliano, per cura di
A. Ruesch ». The numbers preceding the several descrip-
tive notes are identical with those in the Italian work
referred to above. In parenthesis are quoted in many cases
the numbers affixed to the various objects on the occasion
of a recent inventory. For literary references and further
information the student is referred to the original Italian


The National Museum.

In the year 1738 the Bourbon King Charles of Naples conceived the
idea of presenting the capital of his newly-acquired kingdom with a Mu-
seum which should contain all the collected art treasures inherited under
the Farnese bequest. At first the new building ete;::tec>at Qapo di J\fQiut,
afterwards used as the Royal residence, wa;^ 5el^c*|cJ; blit, jis fresi^lrca-
sures continually came to light during th^ excavations of Her^culaneum
and Pompeii, it was decided to assemble all.^tlje^e CjJ^lj^taoijBjJJOtji Oh'>
and new, under the same roof. For this"^f)urposVtlte* fious^ at tli5 foot
of the hill called Santa Teresa was chosen. It was erected in 15S6, in-
tended originally for the Royal Stables, but altered by the Viceroy Count
Lemos (1599-1601) with the help of the architect Fontana into University
buildings. As the seat of the University was now transferred to the Palace
of the Jesuits (Gesu vecchiol the former stables stood empty and were
available as a Museum.

The gems in the various collections here exhibited belong almost
exclusively to the Farnese bequest, the others have been added to a
large extent either by purchase or through excavations in the Campanian
towns. The bronzes on the other hand and the household utensils were
found for the most part at Pompeii and Herculaneum as were the mosaics
to which a considerable addition was made by the purchase of the Borgia
Collection from Velletri in 1817. The papyri are all from Herculaneum.

The nucleus of the picture gallery was formed by the pictures of the
Farnese bequest sent from Parma to Naples. More were added from
churches and sequestered monasteries while countless others came from
the Borgia Collection at Velletri. A remarkable addition to this section
was the bequest of the late Marchese del Vasto who left the magnificent
tapestries depicting the Battle of Pavia to the Museum.

The inscriptions placed in the vestibule, composed by Fiorelli, give
a more complete history of the founding of the National Museum.


The Marble Statues

Most o( the marble statues in the National Museum originally came
from Rome, where they had been the properly ol the Farnese family,
whose large collection of statues was acquired from excavations, espe-
cially those of the year 1540, and was placed partly in the Palazzo Far-
nese, partly in the Farnese Garden on the Palatine. When the family
died out in 1731, the possessions of Elizabeth Farnese, including the col-
lection, passed into the hands of her son Charles, King of Naples, and
the statues were removed to that town. Those that had ornamented the
Villa were also added to the Museum. Others of the statues originate
from excavations made at different times in Campanian towns, especially
at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Capua, Pozzuoli, Gaeta and so on, while others
come from Locri. ,

\ small nucleus; is formed by the Borgia collection which Giovanni
pj.oio Borgia hr'd ior./ideci a.i Velletri in the eighteenth century and which
chiefly contains objects' from Oriental Greece, by the collection of the
O'lke of No'a ;?i'd that of C'aVoline Murat. One part of this collection
vvfts not ta'cer to France, 'but remained in Naples under the name of the
Maseo Palatino. .statues 'have been acquired by purchase.

The collection is placed on the ground floor. The entrance hall con-
tains honorary statues. In the right wing the statues are arranged either
from the chronological or from the topographical standpoint. In the left
wing are the portrait statues.

To the right :

1 (6397). Statue of a woman in Ionic chiton and himation, the type
being derived from Praxiteles. The arms, with the attributes of the muse
Euterpe or Thalia, are restored.

To the left :

2 (6377). Statue of a woman in chiton and himation. The forearms,
with the attributes of the muse Calliope, are restored.

Entrance Hall.

To the right and left of entrance :

4, 5 (240)0-2401). Two cipollino columns from the Triopeum at Rome,
dedicated by Herodes Atticus to the gods of the I'nderworld.

Left Corridor :

6 (.3614). Base, with dedication to the Consul L. Burbuleus Optatus
by his children's nurse.

7 (.59(30). Colossal statue in stage costume, transformed into a Urania
by mistaken restoration of the head, and hands. The left hand probably
held a cithara, the right a plectrum.

8 (6787-6791). Cornice from the building of Eumachia in Pompeii.

9 (121523). Base, with dedication to Aurelius Pylades, the pantomime

10, 11 (.5961, 5962). Columns of Spanish Brocatell marble.

13 (6866). Marble Basin, supported by three winged sphinxes.

The Marble Statues

Along the walls near the basin :

14-17 (5965, 5966, 5970, 5969). Four Toga Statues of unknown muni-
cipal officers.

18 (6776). Sarcophagus. Bacchic procession, from left to right. In a
chariot drawn by Centaurs is Dionysus, preceded by the Bacchic pro-
cession in which the drunken Hercules figures. On the ground two
mystic cistae, on the sides two griffins. Roman wholesale work.



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Fig. I. M. Nonius Balbus (Phot. Brogi).

20 (6168). Statue of Viciria, mother of M. Jun. Balbus, the praetor.
It resembles the so-called « Herculanensis major », now in Dresden.

22 (6244). Statue of a daughter of Balbus.

23 C6211). Equestrian statue of M. Nonius Balbus, the elder. From
Herculaneum. The head and right hand are restored. (Fig. i).

24 (6246). Toga statue. The head is antique, but does not belong to
the body.

27 (6248). Statue of a daugliter of Balbus. She is arrayed like the


Vienna statue of Kora by Praxiteles. Her head is bent and full of life
as though she were about to speak. In the hair are traces of red colour
as a ground for gilding. Careful execution.

25^ (<T43(4,t3«3C>.5i. Sarcophagus with cover in the middle of which is the
tablet for the inscription. On the front of the sarcophagus are the por-
traits of a man and woman, supported by three putti. Beneath these are

29. Toga statue of a man sacrificing.

W (6^394). Female statue, restored as Clio, with modern head. It re-
calls the Praxitelean type of the so-called « Herkulanensis minor » now
in Dresden.

31 (6870). Marble Basin, made like a cylix with double handles.

32 {63!it8). Female Statue, restored as Euterpe, perhaps the portrait
of an empress in the dress of a priestess. The motive is reminiscent of
the Demeter of Praxiteles.

33, 34 (5973, 5974). Columns of black porphyry.

36 (325.5). Base, with dedication to the Emperor Antoninus Pius.

37 (5975). Colossal statue of a Youth. Found in the Baths of Cara-
calla. The hands and left leg are restorations. He probably held an at-
tribute in the left hand and is clad in a girded tunic and short mantle.
The boots are high and decorated with masks. Probably intended for a
Genius, perhaps that of the Roman people.

38 (121522). Base, with dedication to C. Aelius Quirinus Domitianus

To the left of the main staircase :

39 (5976). Colossal statue of a River God, leaning his left elbow on
a she-wolf and holding a cornucopia in his right hand. The left hand
and the wolf are restorations, so it is uncertain whether it is intended to
represent the Tiber.

4i) (5977). Another similar statue. It is difficult to determine which
river-god this represents, as the animal's head and the oar are resto-

Corridor to the right.

41 (2405). Base with Greek inscription in honour of the pugilist De-
metrius of Alexandria.

42 (597^). Colossal Female Statue, found in the Baths of Caracalla
and thought to be an lole, because a Hercules was found with it. It is
doubtful whether the head belongs to the body. The motive is derived
from Phidias, but it is late work. It is also described as a Flora or Po-
mona, but a Hora or Proserpine would be a better designation.

43 (3257). Base, with dedication to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
44, 45 (.5979, 59S0). Columns of Porto \'enere marble.

47. Basin of Pavonazzetto.

48 (6riS;i). Female Statue in chiton and mantle, the latter covering
the shoulders and left arm. Face and hands are restorations, and the
hands are raised in prayer. It is evidently a portrait statue, the diadem
indicating an empress. It is generally named Lucilla, but on insufficient

49 (6312). Statue of a woman clad in tunic and palla, probably a Ro-
man priestess. Head and hands are restored.

The Marble Statues

50 (6047). Slatue of a woman, designated as Livia, and found in the
Macellum at Pompeii. It resembles the so-called Pudicitia of the Vatican.
Head and hands restored.

51 (6250). Female statue, generally called Calliope, and probably a
portrait statue. Head and hands restored.

54 (111070). Roman Sarcophagus. Selene descending from her chariot
to visit the sleeping Endymion. To the left a hunter and dog, to the
right a shepherd with his sheep.

57 (6210). Statue of a woman in stola and palla. Head and hands

58 (6249). Statue of a Girl, member of the family of Balbus. She is
clad in stola and palla, and her attitude resembles that of Eumachia.
Traces of colour still visible in the hair.

59 (6104). Equestrian Statue. The ambling horse is rendered with
great fidelity to nature. The rider wears a cloak, cuirass and belt. The
inscription informs us that the statue was erected by the people of Her-
culaneum in honour of Nonius Balbus. The head was shattered by a
canon-ball during the insurrection of 1799, and has been replaced by an
exact copy, the work of Brunelli.

60 (6167). Toga statue of M. Nonius Balbus, the elder. The toga hangs
down from the left side over the scrinium, in exaggerated parallel folds.

63 (6242 . Statue of a young Roman of the period of Tiberius.

64 (6705). Sarcophagus. The creation and destruction of man are re-
presented with a confusion of Greek and Roman myths. On the front
Prometheus is seated and lying at his feet is the lifeless body of a youth
that he has made of clay but cannot inspire with life. Clotho, the Fate
with the distaff, stands before him and an Eros holds his flaming torch
near the head of the recumbent figure towards which he leads Psyche
who turns to a second Eros. The life-giving fire comes from Heaven,
having been stolen by Prometheus from Hephaestus. Hence to the right
the latter is represented forging lightning for Zeus. An Eros in headlong
flight carries him the divine fire by a torch. Next to him is Caelus, be-
neath whom on the ground is Tellus, goddess of the earth, with a cor-
nucopia and a fruit in her hands. The other elements also take part in
the creation of man and you thus see beside Prometheus the personifi-
cation of Water with his oar and dolphin, and of air in Aura who in
floating garments is placed near Tellus, whilst between her and Eros
stands Pan. The creation takes place at the moment when all nature
awakes, hence we see above and to the right the quadriga of HeHos,
his head crowned with sunrays, his hand raised as if to greet Life. The
consent of the gods being necessary to the creation of man, in the back
ground appear Zeus and Hera near Psyche and between them is the head
of Hestia or Magna Mater. Hera gives a bag of money to Hermes, behind
whom is a Triton blowing on his horn, while to the left of Hermes stands
Poseidon with the trident on which an Eros, probably Zephyrus, is riding.
Immediately after his creation, man sinks to the Underworld, therefore
we have Pluto to the left behind the figure of Water, close by is the God
of Sleep, brother of Death, and behind these two a figure resembling
Aura. Still farther to the left, sitting on a rock, is an Erinys with the
three-headed Cerberus. As creation takes place in the morning, so with
the evening comes Death, hence the representation of Selene in her chariot
drawn by two bulls, while in front of her flies Hesperus.

On the sides are less important figures, such as Atropos deciding the
hour of death with the aid of a sun-dial and a youth with a horse, per-
haps Castor, that one of the Dioscuri who is mortal.


The sarcophagus belongs to the period of decadence (third century),
but is derived from a good original. There exist four sarcophagi with
this same motive and of them the one in the Louvre most nearl\ resem-
bles ours.

68 (5821). Basin of rosso antico, transferred to the Museum from the
Caroline Murat Collection. Winged Tritons support it and between the
handles are two water-spouts in the form of lions' heads.

69 (6252). Toga statue of an unknown personage. A bundle of papyrus
rolls serve as support. Head restored.

70,71 (5991, 5«»2). Co-
lumns of giallo antico.

73 (3279). Base, with
dedication to L. Licinius

74 (5993). Colossal
statue of a ruler in the
pose of a hero. Both fore-
arms and the left foot
are restored. It is remi-
niscent of a'Polycletan
type. The head resembles
that of Alexatider Seve-
rus, found on coins (Fig.
2 and 3). The fillet and
palm on the support are
suitable attributesof such
a lover of the circus.

75 (2566). Base, with
dedication to P. Marius

Near the pillars of
the main corridor :

76,77(6122,6116). Da-
cian Captives, from the
Forum of Trajan in Ro-
me, like those set up on
the Arch of Constantine.
The national costume in-
dicated by the chiton with sleeves, the trousers and cloak, is further
emphasized by the Phrygian cap and laced boots. Both hang their heads
in token of their grief and submission.

78-81 (5970, 59<39, 5965, 5966). Four Toga statues of unknown muni-
cipal oflficers.

82 (6780). Marble Base, found in a Cellar at Pozzuoli in 1793. On
it was a statue of Tiberius erected to hira after his re-building of fourteen
towns in Asia Minor that had been destroyed by earthquake between
17 and 30 A. D. In front is the dedicatory inscription of the priests of
Augustus in Puteoli. On either side stand caryatides representing Sardes
and Magnesia, the former holding a cornucopia and laying her other
hand protectingly on the head of a naked boy, who probably represents
a local deity, Tylos. Magnesia (much damaged) who also is dressed as
a matron, raises her right arm. On the right side of the base stand Phi-
ladelphia , Tmolus and Cyme. The first figure in her priestesslike
bearing (the town was held sacred) recalls a fifth century statue of

Alexander Se\ <

The Marble Statues

Demeter. Tmolos, with the mural crown, is personified as a type of
Dionysus with vine and nebris, because of the vine-clad mountain that
he represents. This figure reminds one of a Lysippean statue. Cyme, the
sea-city whose patron goddess was thought to have been carried away
by Poseidon, holds a trident in her hand. On the left side stand Mo-
stene , Aegae and Hierocaesareia. The first mentioned holds fruit and

garlands. At Aegae there
was a great cult of Po-
seidon as god of earth-
ciuakes, hence the figure
with trident , dolphin ,
and helmet in the form
of a prow. Hierocaesare-
ia, with the mural crown
and in the costume of an
Amazon, probably held
an axe and a pelta in
her hands ; these are
missing. On the back
are six figures, Temnus,
Cibyra, Myrina, Ephesus
Apollonidea and Hyrcania. Temnus is represented as a male figure, the
type being borrowed from a statue of Dionysus, engraved on coins. The
left hand holds the thyrsus, while the missing right hand probably held
a vase. Cibyra, with helmet, lance and shield, also wears the dress of
an Amazon Myrina, entirely enveloped in her garment, stands in the
centre and the tripod and laurel indicate the cult of Apollo near Myrina
at Gyrneia where there was an oracle. Ephesus is clad as an Amazon
and is further indicated by the statue of Artemis. Her left foot is pla-
ced on the head of the river-god Caystrus, her right hand holds wheat-
ears and poppy-heads , and the rays of her mural crown remind us of
the natural phenomena that accom-
pany earthquakes. Again we have the
dress of an Amazon worn by Apol-
lonidea. The last figure of all (hands
with attributes are missing) may be
intended for the farthermost Parthian

Coins of Alexander Severus.

town , Hyrcania , founded by Mace-

In memory of the generosity
shown by Tiberius in rebuilding the
fourteen towns visited by earthqua-
ke, a colossal statue of him was erec-
ted in Rome near the Temple of Ve-
nus Genetrix and round the base were
placed personifications of twelve
towns. To these were added Ephe-
sus and Cibyra which were destro-
yed later. The monument at Pozzuoli
is a copy on a smaller scale (Fig. 4),

4. Sextertius of Tiberius.

83 (2608). Marble Base, with de-
dication to the Fortuna Redux of the Imperial family.

8t (6233). Statue of M. Holconlus Rufus. Being a military tribune,
he is represented in short tunic and cuirass, the latter being adorned
with griffins, masks, rams' heads and elephants. The hair was coloured
red, the paludamentum purple and the shoes black.


85 (62H2). Statue of Eumachia from Pompeii. This statue was erected
by the fullers. IJeing a priestess, she has drawn her garment over her
head. The movement is full of grace but the execution is mediocre. The
attitude is similar to that of the « Herkulanensis major ». Traces of red
colour in the hair.

8H, 87 (62H5, .3898). Statue of Suedius Clemens, less than life size. The

statue was erected in gratitude for the fact that he had given back to

the town of Pompeii the domains which had

^^ been taken into possession by private persons.

tg(0KKlL ^'^ {62M). Toga statue of an official, from

JP,'"'TOl Pompeu.

^- ^ >^' 8-' (-609) Marble Base , commemorating a

\ ^ ^JBv victor> \Non b\ the Emperor Vespasian.

90 (2610). Mar-
ble Base, with de-
dication to the e-
ternal peace of the
house of Vespa-
sian and his de-

91-94 (5988,
59813, 5984, 5987).
Four Toga Statues
of unknown muni-
cipal officers.

East Wing.

Corridor of the

To the left:
95. Aedicula

of shell -limestone
with an enthroned

To the right :

96 (129181).
Head , more than
life size. Found at
Sorrento in 1902 in
I he workshop of a
.sculptor. Archaic

97 (6421). Fe-
male Head, type of
the so called Spes.

98 ((i556). Gra-
ve relief from the
Museo Borgia at
Velletri.In his hair

l'"ig. 5. Funerary stele
ot the Museo Borgia.

Stele of Alxenor

The Marble Statues


the deceased wears a fillet, decorated with a feather (?). The chlamys is
held fast in the left arm-pit by the staff on which he leans. The left leg
is crossed over the right, and on the left wrist hangs a small round vase.
The shoes were coloured, only the soles are plastically treated. In front
of the man sits a dog, who turns his head towards his master (Fig. 5).
The relief is undoubtedly an original work of the beginning of the
fifth centur>'. The stiffness
of the whole figure and the -

fault}- bodily forms are ow- _

ing to lack of skill on the
part of the artist. The same
motive occurs in the Stele
of Alxenor of Naxos, now
in the Museum at Athens
(Fig. 6), in which however
we find more freshness of
invention and more free-
dom in execution , while
the action is better expres-
sedinasmuch as the figure
holds a grasshopper tow-
ards the dog. To avoid dif-
ficulties of perspective, the
sculptor of the Neapolitan
relief has put the right leg
in profile.

99 (6257). Head of a
Youth. The type is early
but badly executed.

100 (62.58). Head of a
Youth. Archaistic Roman

101 (6007). Statue of A-
thena Promachos. Both fo-
rearms, part of the Aegis
and the Gorgoneion are re-
stored. The head can hard-
ly belong to this body. The
goddess wears the Ionic
chiton and peplos, using
the latter as a shield, and
brandishes a spear in her
right hand. The head with
its Attic helmet is a later
type and seems rather
small in proportion to the
body. The statue is a Ro-
man imitation of a sixth
century- type.

102 (6256). Head of a

Fly;. 7. The Tyrannicides.
(Reconstitut. in the Museum of Brunswick).

Youth. Copy of an archaic bronze statue.

103, 104 (6009, 6010). Harmodius and Aristogeiton. Found at Hadrian's
Villa near Tivoli and brought to Naples in 1790. The arms and right leg
of Harmodius, the left hand and right arm of Aristogeiton had already
been restored. The head of the latter is antique and in the style of Scopas,
but does not belong to the body. Two young men of athletic build are



rushing forward to attack a common foe. The younger, whose beard is
just beginning to grow, has thrust forward his right foot and is about
to deal his adversary a terrific blow with the long sword held in his rai-
sed right hand. Across his chest was a belt, still recognisable by traces
of colouring, and he may possibly have held a scabbard in his left hand.
His older and bearded companion stretches out his left arm using his
cloak as a shield to protect his comrade and draws back his right arm
so that he may, in case of necessity, be able to follow up his friend's
attack by a sword-thrust.

This master-piece, in its clear
but simple grouping, the dry exe-
cution of the bodily forms , the
mannerism of the hair, the deve-
lopment of the lower part of the
face, plainly indicates the influence
of archaic art. At first the two fi-
gures were placed opposite one
another as opponents and were
thought to be gladiators or heroes
in combat, till in 1S53 Friedrichs
recognised them to be a copy of
the famous group of the Tyranni-
cides which was erected in Athens
in memory of the slaying of Hip-
parchus, and of which various co-
pies have been preserved. Thucy-
dides, VI. 54 , tells us that in 514
B. C. the two friends avenged pri-
vate wrongs by kiUing Hipparchus,
who with Hippias had succeded
Pisistratus in the government of
Athens. The tyrants being univer-
sally hated, this act acquired poli-
tical significance and after the ex-
pulsion of Hippias in 510 the de-
mocratic party promptly erected
statues of the two friends who had
been put to death by Hippias, im-
mortalising them as their delive-
rers from the Tyrants. When the
city was taken by the Persians,
this group was carried ofl" to Susa,
but afterwards restored to Athens
by Alexander or one of his succes-
sors. Meanwhile when the city had
freed itself from the Persians, a
copy of the original group was ma-
de by Critius and Nesiotes , and
erected in 477. The question whether we have before us in the Naples
group the work of Antenor or that of Critius and Nesiotes has now been
decided in favour of the last mentioned. It was produced in the first
half of the fifth century. The two sculptors belong to a period of tran-

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