The collection of the Santarelli family resurrects a millenary Roman tradition that spread in the Eternal City during the Renaissance and can be traced back to a custom that was well established among the Roman aristocracy during the Imperial Age as a need for decorum and social ostentation, which included the display of statues in private residences, mostly consisting of copies of Greek originals.
The allegorical and moral re-evaluation of ancient thought, subordinated to reabsorbing the entire classical universe in order to reconcile it with religious faith, ended around the middle of the fourteenth century with Francesco Petrarca, determining the end of the Middle Ages and, by the same token, inaugurating an attitude that – precisely in ancient Rome – found a new vigour to forge a new age that later historians identified as “the Renaissance”.
In the exhibition, the visitor is given the opportunity to admire masterpieces spanning from the 1st century B.C. to the 18th century A.D., all representative of the artistic and stylistic developments that occurred in Rome according to chronological order. These works have been selected to show the persistence of ancient heritage, as the title itself suggests: ROMA AETERNA – everlasting Rome.