Chiaramonti Gallery Wall XIV

Seven artworks are exhibited in front of Wall XLV in the Chiaramonti Gallery. On the far left is a statue of Musa (Inv. 1929) which rests on top of a funerary altar of Caius Clodius Amarantus (Inv. 1930). Moving towards the right rests a recently restored colossal bust of the Emperor Trajan (Inv. 1931) on top of a column base (Inv. 1932) and beneath this column base another base of Quintus Plotius Romanus ( Inv. 1933). On the far right stands the statue of Dionysus (Inv. 1934) on top of a funeral altar that bears a modern inscription of Titus Mescenius Olympus (Inv. 1935). The restoration involves an intervention on six of the seven works exhibited on this section of the gallery (as mentioned, the colossal bust of Trajan has already been restored). The present restoration represents a “pilot project” in view of a general conservation plan for the sculptures of the Chiaramonti Museum for the 2019-2020 biennium.

STATUE OF MUSA
Date: Second half of the II century A.D.
Materials: Marble
Dimensions: Height: 121 cm
Inventory Number: 1929

The female figure, of which the head and harp were completed in the modern age, is dated in the second half of the second century A.D. and is inspired by iconographies elaborated in Greece in the fourth century B.C. The small sculpture was probably found at Villa Adriana, and was part of the collection of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este at the Quirinale where it was drawn by Italian engraver G.B. de Cavalleriis in the mid 1500’s (Antiquarum statuarum Urbis Romae, 1585, Tav. 55). It has been exhibited in the Chiaramonti Museum since 1806

FUNERAL ALTAR OF CAIUS CLODIUS AMARANTUS
Date: II century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimentions: Height: 76 cm; width 50.5 cm; depth: 37 cm
Inventory Number: 1930

The altar is dedicated by the freedmen Euphemus, Fortunatus and Atticus to their patron Gaius Clodius Amaranth who died at 93 years old. The Altar (CIL VI, 15694), datable in the first half of second century A.D., was part of the Giustiniani collection and exhibited in the Chiaramonti Museum since 1808.

COLUMN PLINTH DECORATED WITH BULL SKULLS AND GARLANDS
Date: I century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: Height: 6 cm; width: 45 cm; depth: cm. 45 cm
Inventory Number: 1932

Sold by Ferdinando Lisandroni and Antonio d’Este in 1803.

CEREMONIAL BASE FOR QUINTUS PLOTIUS ROMANUS
Date: March 17th 141 A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: Height: 138 cm; width: 80 cm; depth: 73 cm
Inventory Number: 1933

The base was found in 1803 in Ostia during the pontifical excavations conducted by Giuseppe Petrini. It is a commemoration for the Ostian citizen Quintus Plotius Romanus. The statue was erected by decree of the Decurions, namely the local authority of the colony, on March 17, 141 A.D. under the consulate of Titus Hoenius Severus and Marcus Peducaeus Priscinus (CIL XIV, 400). The inscription also recalls that Quintus Plotius was a priest of the imperial cult and had received the title of Eques from the emperor Hadrian.

STATUE OF DIONISIS
Date: 1st half of the I century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: Height: 144 cm
Inventory Number: 1934

This small statue is datable to the middle of the first century A.D. Its iconography derives from Greek models of the god from the late fourth century B.C. Sold in 1804 by famous Italian sculptor and restorer of Ancient Roman art Carlo Albacini, it was immediately placed in the Chiaramonti Museum.

FUNERAL ALTAR
Date: I century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: Height. 77 cm; width: 52.5 cm; depth: 35 cm
Inventory Number: 1935

The altar, parallelepiped in form and decorated with Urceus and Patera, has texts engraved on both of its sides. On the side that previously faced outwards but now faces the gallery wall is the inscription “Sacred to the Manes. To the excellent father Gaius Umidius Narcissus, by his daughter Ione”. On the side of the altar which currently faces outwards is the dedicatory inscription to Titus Mescenius Olympus. This inscription was once considered antique (CIL VI, 22428), but has recently been correctly attributed to the hand of a modern stone worker who had copied ancient text from another source. The ancient inscription is datable to the first century A.D., while the modern inscription is datable to the sixteenth century. Renaissance architect, painter, and antiquarian Pirro Ligorio mentions the ancient sepulchral inscription in his writings. The altar was acquired by the Vatican Museums from the Giustiniani Collection.