John Murray (Firm).

A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Italy and Sicily ...: South Italy online

. (page 14 of 53)
Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Italy and Sicily ...: South Italy → online text (page 14 of 53)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


tection in winter. Attached to tiie
garden is the lecture room, a botanical
library, and an extensive heri)arium
formed by Professors Gussoni and
Tenore.

The Observatory (fieale OsMrva^
torio)y commonly called La Specoh (E.1X
was begun in 1812, and completed in
1820, on the plans of the celebrated
astronomer Piazzi. It is about 500 ft.
above the sea, and oommands an horizon
imbroken in every direction, except
towards the castle of St. Elmo. The
building, entered by a vestibule of
six Doric columns of marble, is well
furnished with scientific instruments,
among which is included a seitmograph
for registering subterranean movements,
Ceres was first observed here in 1801
by Piazzi the director, and his successor
De Gksparis has discovered numerous
small planets.

The ^Aquarium {StaxwM Zoohgtca)



in the Villa Nazionale (C. 5, 6) is open
daily. Entrance, 2 frs.; in July and
August, 1 fr. Season and feunily tickets
may be obtained at the office. Gata^
logue, i fr. It is a handsome white
stone building, having the aquarium
proper on the ground-floor, and on the
second floor laboratories for the use of
students, and a large scientific library.
The upper floor is connected by a glazed
gallery with the W. wine of the build-
ing. The collection in the sixtv tanks
of the Aquarium is such as can be seen
nowhere else in Europe. Red coral and
various other corals and oorallines in
their living state, transparent jellv-fish,
many kinds of brilliantly coloured
cuttie-fish—such as the octopus, cala-
mary, and sepia~sea-urohins, starfish,
the electric skate, one of which is
dways kept in readiness to give visitors
a shock— these and many other gor-
geously hued specimens of southern
seas are to be found here.

The Aquarium maybe regarded as
the Museum (h: Exhibition fioom^ of •
much larger and more important inid-
tution, now well known throughout
Europe as the Zoologioal SlatioiL of
Naides. It was founded in 1871 by
the Germannaturalist,Dr. Anton Dohm,
who not oalv spent his own fortune
upon it, but has succeeded in fbrming
a system of international support for
Uie continuance of the woiIl The
German Empire and the kingdom of
Italy have each contributed £4000 to
the oost of building, in addition to
which Germany subscribes £1500 a
year towards we current expenses.
Other funds are raised by the letting of
working tables to go vemments, univer-
sities, and scientific institutions at the
rate of £100 a year, in return for which
a naturalist acquires the right of fol-
lowing his researches in the Zoological
Station imder the most fieivourable con-
ditions possible. Ahnost all the countries
of Europe have availed themselTes of
this opportunity, the University ot
Cambridge beingconstantlyrepresented*
From 25 to 30 tables are occupied by
students, and up to the year 1889 as
many as 500 naturalists, many of them
now famous, had prosecuted their
studies at Nq^les. Zoological Stations

Digitized by V^OOQIC



Boute 1. — ■MotpitdU ; Pritoru.



67



of a similar kind have more receutly
been established in almost all European
countries bordering on the sea, as well
as in America, Australia, and Japan.
Of these the most promising is the labo-
ratory of the British Marine Biological
Association at Plymouth.
^ The Zoological Station has a staff of
eight scientmc and thirty technical
assistants, one of the most complete
biological libraries, and two small
steam-launches, together with diving
apparatus and other material for fishing.
Ijiree important periodicals are pub-
lished bjr the Station, and it provides
all existing universities, laboratories,
andmuseums with excellently preserved
specimens from the Gulf of Naples for
fesearch and illustration.

It is evident that an institution of
6uch vast dimensions can only be main-
tained by large and lasting sources of
income, to which the entrance fees of
the Aquarium contribute about an
eighth part.



§ 18. HOSPITAI^.

There are no less than 60 charitable
foundations in Naples, richly endowed,
including the following Hospitals: —
The Santa Casa degl' Inomabili,
foimded by Francesca Maria Longo, in
1521, and enriched in later times by
numerous benefactors. It is a vast es-
tablishment, open to persons of both
sexes, and of every rank and condition.
Sometimes there are not less than 2000
patients, not including those in conva-
lescent houses. Ospedale di Qwh
Xaria, near the museum, the great
Clinical School of Naples, attached to
theimiversity. Ospedale del FeUegrini,
in the Strada Porta MedinaK. a hospital
for the sick and wounded of all classes,
and for accidents generally. It has a
convalescent establishment at Torre del
Greco. Otpedale della Face, in the
Strada dei Tribunali, built on the site
of the Palace of Ser^anni Caracciolo,
chiefly for acute medical cases. Oipe-
dale di 8. Sligio, near the Largo del
Mracato, for femdes, with a Conserva-
torio for the nuns who attend on the
sick.



Ospedale de' Ciechi, in the Chiaia,
for the blind, foimded by Ferdinand I.
in 1818. 200 blind are here instructed
in useful works and in music. Inter-
national Hospital, in the Villa Ben-
tinck, Via Tasso, particularly intended
for foreigners, where a separate room
of the first class may be had for 15 frs.
a day, everything included. The com-
mittee includes our own (Donsul as well
as those of several other States, and is
thankful to receive subscriptions from
travellers. The house was acquired
under a bequest of the late Lady Har-
riet Bentinck, who also founded in the
Via Principe Amedeo an excellent girls'
schooL It is estimated that 9000 British
sailors touch at Naples every year, any
one of whom, on faUing sick, is received
at the hospital for a payment of 2^ frs. a
day, made by the British Government.

Albergo de* Foveii, orBeolusoriOf a
vast building (F. l),was founded by
Charles III., and begim in 1751 from
the designs of Fuga. Good schools for
both sexes are attached to the work-
house, and most of its inmates are
brought up to trades. The boys are
generally sent into the army. The
Albergo de' Poveri, with its dependen-
cies, contains about 2000 persons.



§ 19. PRISONS.

The prisons of Naples acquired an
unenviable celebrity during the three
last reigns of the Bourbon dynasty,
when they became the receptacles for
so many eminent persons, accused of
political offences. Considerable change
lor the better has been effected imder
the new order of things, but much re*
mains to be done.

The Yicaria, long used as a prison
and law-courts, is now disused because
it had become imsafe. It was formerly
the residence of l^e Spanish Viceroys,
and until 1888 served as the law-
courts. New Jaw-courts are in course
of erection, and in the meantime justice
is administered in temporary premises.
The Castel nuovo and the Castel del
Ore, formerly political prisons, are now
only used for military prisoners.



Digitized by V^OOQIC



58



Boute 1. — Naples : Museum ;



§ 20. THB MUSEXTU.

(JSfuaeo NaxionaU.)

Open daily in summer 9 to 3, winter
10 to 4 ; adm. 1 fr. Free on Sun. 10
to 1. Closed on 12 church festivals
and 4 national holidays. Catalogue in
Italian, 2i Irs. (poor) ; excellent hand-
hook by Mr. R Neville Rolf e, in Eng-
lish, 5 m. ; abridgment of the latter, en-
titled * One Day in the Naples Museum,'
2} frs., with a descriptive account of
the principal objects.

The Xnseiim (E. 3) was commenced
in 1586, by Fontana, under the viceroy
Duke of Osuna, as a cavalry barrack,
but left unfinished until 1610, when the
viceroy Count de Lemos assigned it to
the University, and after the inaugu-
ration in 1616 the bnilding was known
as the Regii Studii. After the earth-
quake of 168S it was used by the courts,
and during the Revolution of 1701 it
became a barrack. In 1767 it was
enlarged and assigned to the depart-
ment of Public Instruction, and having
been airan^ for a public Museum,
King Ferdinand IV. in 1790 removed
hither the royal collection of antiquities
from Capodimonte and PorticL After
the restoraticHi of the Bourbons, they
enriched it by additions from time to
time, and declared it to be their private
property, ind^>«ident of the crown,
under the name of the Museo Meale
Borbonico; but Guribaldi, when dictator
in 1860, proclaimed the Museum and
the territory devoted to the excavations
to be the property of the nation, and
increased the endowments and works
connected with it. On the consolida-
tion of the kind^dom of Italy, Victor
Emanuel reorganised the Museum and
included in it the Cumsean and Sant-
angelo collections. The building now
bears the title of Xnseo Fanoiuue, and
owes its present arrangement to the
able direction of Signer Fiorelli, who
has gained so high a reputation in the
learned world for his numerous writings
on antiquarian literature, and his judi-
cious superintendence of the excava-
tions at Herculaneum and Pompeii
The Museum is especially rich in
bronzes and statues, but its most cha-



racteristic feature is the priceless col-
lection of wall-paintings, bronzes, vases,
and domestic objects recovered from Ihe
ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

In the following description, a capital
letter shows the place whence the ob-
ject came : thus (B), Borgia collection;
(C), Capua; (F), the Famese collec-
tion ; (H), Herculaneum ; (L), Lucera ;
(M), Mintumae; (P) Pompeii; (S),
Stabisa.

The large vestibule divides the build-
ing in half, and is adorned with sixteen
ancient columns of Verde antico. At
the 1st door on the 1., two of brocco'
tello; 2nd 1., two of black granite; 1st
rt., two of gialto antico (fluted); 2ndrt..
two of Porto Venere (modem). AU
these have lost their capitals, and were
mostly brought from S. Agata dei Goti.
The statues of Alexander Severus and
Flora on the rt., and the Genius of the
City of Rome on the L, were part of
the Famese collection.

The contents of the Museum may be
thus classed : —

Ground- floor:
Pompeian Frescoes and Mosaics.
Inscriptions.

Fragments of Architecture.
Marble Sculptures and R^fs.
Large Bronzes.

Basement :
Egyptian Antiquities.

Entresol:
Cinqueooito Objects.
Terracotta.
Oumsean Collection,

First floor:
Coins, glass. .
Reserved Cabinet.
Mediaeval Cabinet.
Santangelo Collection.
Italo-week Vases.
Small Bronzes.
Articles of Food.
Papyri.

Picture Galleries.
Library,

To the rt. of the Entranoe Hall are
the

PompeUn Ftomom and ]Edfai«i.—

Digitized by V^OOQIC



Boufe 1. — Oreek and Bomcm Mosaics.



59



The pictures are numbered and classified
in compartments witli Boman numerals.
The firat corridor (A 1), contains chiefly
mural decorated paintings and ara-
besques, mostly from the Temple of Isis.
In (A 2) are paintings of animals, birds,
fishes, &c. On the rt., the celebrated
picture of a locust driving a parrot,
thought to be a caricature of Seneca
and Nero. Out of corridor (A 1) a
door leads into the most interesting
portion of the ancient paintings, con-
tained in 4 halls. They consist chiefly
of paintings from Pompeii and Hercu-
laneum relative to the different pagan
divinities, in the order of their several
myths. "The best are everywhere
formed upon Greek originals, wluch the
artist learnt by heart and rj^roduced
more or less literally .... We do not
find special details anywhere completely
carried out, but the essential is indi-
cated in a few lines with great force." —
Cic, The wall paintings of Pompeii are
not strictly speaking frescoes. They
were painted with ground colours upon
a wet walL and then finished with dis-
temper. It must be kept in mind tiiat
the painters were not really artists, but
only " house painters ** or artisans who
worked from pattern books, but some-
times indulged in fanciful additions of
their own. In the farthest hall on L
(A 3) are some very ancient ones found
on the walls of tombs at Psostum, Capua,
&c, Samnite processions, and Mercury
taking money for conducting souls to
Hades. Warriors, horses, and armour
(Psestum). — Narcissus admiring him-
self ; landscapes. — Hephaestus and
Thetis with the shield of Achilles (P).—
Apollo and Marsyas ; Jupiter and Juno
(P).— FivepaintiiigB on *white marble
(H), the only known examples of the
kind. The *first represent Theseus
combating the Centaur Eurythion; the
2nd. Latona meditating the destruction
of the Kiobida, five young females, two
of whoM'are playing at Astragaliy with
their names in Ghreek, togetiier with
that of the artist, Alexander of Athens,
In (A 4) are dancing Sa^rs, Cen-
taurs, &c (P).— Mars and Venus (P).
— ^Bacchus and Ariadne (P).— The re-
nowned *13 dancing girls and other
floating figures (P).— Cupids for sale-



Diana with a bow. In (A 5) Girl
gathering flowers. — Nereid. — Medea.
In a glass case are preserved the con-
tents of a colour dealOT*s shop, consist-
ing of various metallic pigments. In
(A 6) Phrixos and the ram. — Perone
giving milk to her aged father in prison
(P). — Perseus and Andromeda, and
Cassandra (P).— Hercules and Tele-
phus (H).— The youthful Hercules and
the Snake TH). — ^Theseus and the
Minotaur (H). — Achilles and Briseis
(P).— The Sacrifice of Iphigenia (P).

Compartment xxxviii. contains the
famous picture of the Schoolmaster cor-
recting the Boy, and Compt. xzziii. the
Tiring of the Bride, and other domestic
scenes.

The last room (A 7) contains

Chreek and Boman Xoiaioi, chiefly
.from Pompeii — a most interesting
series. The well-known Mosaic of the
*Cave Canem, found at the entrance of
the House of the Tragic Poet.— The
Three Graces (Baisa). — Phrixos and
Helle (H). — ^Theseus in the Labyrinth
conquering the Minotaur (P). — ^A fine
group of masks and fiower- wreaths. —
A Cat devouring a Bird (P). — A
Francolin Partridge stealing a mirror
out of a basket (P).— Aerates riding
on a Tiger, holding a vase in his hand
(House of the Faun). — Two * Comic
Scenes (House of Fru^), with the name
of the artist, Bioscondes of Samoa ; in
one, masked actors are sitting at a
table ; in the other, a man, two women,
and a boy, masked, are playing upon
various instruments. — Choragnmif or
theatrical rehearsal (PV represents a
Choragus instructinff tne performers;
two have their masks raised, and are
taking their final instructions ; another
is putting on the timic, and a female
musician is tuning the pipes. — ^Lycurgus
attacked by a panth^ and Bacchantes,
for ordering the vines to be destroyed. —
A cockfight fPJ. — ^A Skeleton grasping
a vase in eacn nand, supposed to be one
of tiie emblems which the ancients had
before them at their feasts (H). — ^A
ffood mosaic, forming a portion of a
floor, representing several species of sea
fishes.— A large circular fragment of a
mosaic floor, representing a lion in

Digitized by V^OOQIC



60 Bouie 1. — Naple$ : Museum.



Digitized



by Google



Boute 1. — TJu Xuteum.



61




Digitized by VjOOQIC



62



Boute 1. — Naplea ; Mmeum ;



repo«e in the centre, suirounded by
Cupids. — Alleeorical representation of
the Nile wim Egyptian birds and



Betuming to the Hall of the Paint-
ings of Animals (A 2) we turn to the

Gallery of InBoriptlonB (B 1^, con-
sisting of a collection of graffiti and
dipintiy scratched and painted drawings
and inscriptions, mostly taken from the
walls of houses overlooking the streets
at Pompeii. They relate to religious,
political, andfimereel subjects. In this
hall are the two D^opean ColumnSy in
cipollino, so called fix>m having been
discovered in the villa of Herodus
Atticus, called Triopium, on the Via
Appia, near Rome ; they have each a
Greek inscription. On each side of the
entrance to tiie hall are the two colossal
Statues of Atreus and Tiberius : they
have been much restored, the head of
Commodus beii^ adapted to the latter.

Turning to me L from the cenb^
hall (B 2), the following are among
the most interesting inscriptions (B 3,
4, 5) : — Memorials from Herculaneum
relative to the construction of its
Basilica by Marcus Nonius Balbus, and
the rebuilding of its Temple of Cybele
(Mater Deum) in the 17ui year of the
reign of Vespasian, after having been
thrown down in a.d. 61 by the earth-
quake which preceded its total destruc-
tion in A.D. 79.— A curious set of
standard measures of capacity, set up
in the Forum of Pompeii by Clodius
Flaccus and Narceus Aurelianus
Galedus the Duumvirs, by order of the
Decurions. — Inscriptions, in beautiftdly
formed letters, to L. Mammius Bufris,
who repaired the basilica at Pompeii,
and the theatre, with its orchestra, at
his own expense; to M. Holconius
Bufus Geler, who did the same with
regard to the Crypta and Tribunalia;
and to N. Popidius, who rebuilt the
Temple of Isis, destroyed by the earth-
quake of A.D. 61.

In the last hall to the l (B 5), is
the fiEunous *FAENEaE Bull, llus
celebrated group is described by Pli^y
as one of me most rdnarkable monu-
ments of antiquity. He tells us that it
was brought from Bhodes to Home,



and was the joint work of the Bhodian
sculptors Apollonius and TauHscus (3rd
cent. B.C.), wbo cut it from a single
block of marble. Asinius P(^io, one
of the greatest patrons of art in the
time of Augustus, is believed to have
purchased it. It was found in the
Baths of Caracalla, much injured, at the
time of Pope Paul III. (Alessandro
Famese), in 1546. The principtd
restorations were executed, under the
superintendence of Michael Angelo, by
Bianchi, who. added the head of the
Bull, the upper part of the figure of
Dirce, a great portion of the figures
of Amphion and Zethus, and the whole
of that of Antiope except the feet.
Tlius restored, the group was placed
in the court of the Famese Palace at
Bome, where It served to decorate a
fountain. In 1786 it was brought to
Naples, and placed in the Villa Beale,
and thence removed in 1832 to this
museum. It is the largest ancient
piece of statuary in Italy, and measures
12 ft. by 9 ft. The subject is the
revenge of Antiope and her two sons
(Zethus and Amphion) on Dirce, for
having seduced ^e flections of her
husband Lycus King of Thebes, who,
being enamoured of her, had despised
and repudiated his queen. Her two
sons, enraged at the msult offered to
their mother, resolved on tying their
victim to the horns of a bull. But
Antiope interposed, and prevailed with
the young men to restrain the ftnimftl^
and unbind her rivaL Several animals
are represented in relief round the



In (B 6) are the celebrated HeradeiaiL
Tables, two obbng plates of bronze,
found, in 1732, at Luce, on the bank
of the Salandrella, in Oalabiia, near
the site of ancient Heracleia. The
first Table, engraved 300 years B.C.,
records the steps Uk&a. to reclaim a field
sacred to Bacchus, which had been
appropriated by some inhabitants of
Heracleia. The second Table records
the same arrangem^aits in r^;ard to a
field sacred to Minerva. Both inscrip-
tions Are in Greek. Tlie reverse side of
the latter has on it a Latin inscription,
a fragment of the Lex Serviliaf enacted



Digitized by V^OOQIC



Boute 1. — Fameae Mercules; Egyptian Antiquities.



63



B^C. 45y relatiye to the census,, the dis*
tribution of bread^ and the making of
roads : it is a most important document
for the ancient mimicipal laws of Italy.
In (B 7] is the *Fabnese Hebcules,
the work, according to the inscription,
of Glycon of Athens. It was brought
by Caracalla £rom Athens to adorn nis
Thermssy and was found among their
ruins in 1540,but the legs were wanting.
Cardinal Alessandro Famese employed
Michael Angelo to supply them^ and
from his model in terracotta the missing
limbs were executed and added to the
figure by Guglielmo della Porta.
Twenty years aSterwards the original
legs were found in a weU, 3 m. from
the baths, on the property of the Bor-
ghese family; but Michael Angelo
was so well satisfied with the resto-
rations of Guglielmo della Porta that
lie would not dlow them to be replaced.
The antique legs remained in the
possession of me Borghese family
until a few years since, when Prince
Borghese presented them to the King
of Naples. This celebrated statue re-
presents Hercules resting on his club,
which seems to bend beneath his pon-
derous arms; while the expression of
complete fatigue, both in the counten-
ance and limbs, is combined with a
display of strength, even in repose,
which is perfectiy supernatural. Upon
the rock upon which rests the dub
is inscribed the name of the Athenian
sculptor Glycon. Few statues of an-
tiquity were so admired by the
ancients themselves as the Hercules
of Glycon. It was impressed on
the money of Athens, and afterwards
on the coins of Cajacalla: there is
reason to believe that the Romans had
many copies of the statue executed by
their best artists. One of them is in
the Palazzo Pitti at Florence, and there
is a small bronze copy in the Villa
Albani at Bome.

Amongst the inscriptions in this hall
is a very curious Calendar (F) ; it
consists of a square block of white
marble, on tiie sides of which have
been, inscribed the 12 months of the
year: at the hea4 of tiie eolumn of
each month is a relief of tiie cor-
responding sign of the zodiac, followed



by the name of the month, with the
number of its days, the nones, and
the mean length in hoiurs of the day
and night ; the designation of the sign
of the zodiac, the name of the tutelary
divinity, the most important agricul-
tural occupations of the month, and its
principal religious festival Near the
spiral staircase are some public measures
for com, &c., with an inscription show-
ing that they were legalized at the
capitol. In the glass case are small
plates of bronze, containing forms of
discharge (honeata missiones) given to
Boman soldiers.

To the 1., at the end of B 1, is a
Corridor of Fompeian Paintings (A 8),
the most curious of which, in a recess,
is a * square pillar, on the sides of which
are represented the different operations
of a fuller, found in the House of the
Fuller (P). Betuming to B 1, some
steps on tiie L lead to the basement
VLOOB, in which are six small rooms. —
I. Plaster casts of funeral slabs from
Egypt (originals at Turin). — ^11. Chinese
ivoiy basket, and various specimens from
India, Penda, and Japan. — III. Ghrii-
tiaa InseriptionB from the Catacombs of
Home, Naples, Capua, &c. — lY. X^^-
tiaa Antiqnitieg : Small statue of Isis,
with gilt and coloured drapery, holding
tiie sistrum (bronze rattie) in the right
hand, and the keys of the Nile in the
left (P). — Jupiter Serapis, seated on
his tnrone, with his right hand resting
on the head of Cerberus, found in the
vestibule of Serapeon at Pozzuoli. —
Frog mparagonet found in Egypt (B). —
Sacred Ibises from the Temple of Isis
(P^. — Mummy cases. — Statuettes of
deities and sacred animals in bronze
and lapis-lazuli. Two columns of
green Egyptian breccia (P). — ^VI. A
Pastophorus, or Egyptian priest, in
black basalt^ one of the fine examples
of this numerous class of statues (F).
— Sepulchral monument in granite
with relief of 22 figpires and hiero-
glyphics (B); it has the name of
Bameses Vl.—The so-called Tablet of
Isis, with 14 sculptured figures, and 20
Imes ol hierogl^hics (P). — A cele-
brated Papyrus, m Greek, which dates
from tiie 2nd or 8rd cent, of our era, and
which Schow states to have been found

Digitized by V^OOQIC



64



Boute 1. — Naples : Museum.



in a faliteiTaaeaiL building at Memphis,
-with 40 others, endosed in a box of
syoamore-wood. The Greek characters
are most yaliiable for their antiquity.
The MS. is written in columns, and
contains the names of the workmen
-who constructed the dykes and canals
of the Nile. — Group of a Pastophorus
and an Isiao priestess in basalt. In
the glass cases are scarabsei, necklaces,

Betuming to the ground-floor, we
pass across the GWery of Inscriptions
mto a large open Courtyard (C), form*
ing the centre of this half of the build-
ing, and containing a number of re-
markable FragmtiUs of Architecture,
Traversing this hall, we again reach
the vestibule.

We now turn to that portion of the
building on the 1. of the vestibule con-
taining the

Anoibnt Marble Statues (Raceolti
dei Marmi). The di£ferent objects are
oonstantiy being changed about to suit
some new principle of arrangement.
The first door <m the 1. of the vestibule
from the entrance leads into a long
corridor called the

Hall of the Smpmrs (D 1> Many
of the objects are inferior as works of
art, but afford a good opportunity of



Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Italy and Sicily ...: South Italy → online text (page 14 of 53)