The Musei Capitolini is one of my favourite places, so I decided to pick them up for a quick "walk tour" with you guys.
It was created on 1471 by the will of Pope Sixtus IV, who donated a group of bronze statues of great symbolic value to the People of Rome (they were the She-Wolf, the Spinarius, the Camillus and the colossal head of Constantine, with hand and globe), as he felt that they belonged to the citizens themselves rather than the Church.
From this first donation more and more Popes added to the collection, some of them "to get rid" of heathen subjects overpopulating the rooms of the Vatican, others to increase the value of the city, until the huge work of archaeological preservation and collection dating 1870, with the declaration of Rome as the Capital of Italy.
But let's go in order and start our little walk in the Palazzo dei Conservatori.
The first thing we met is the Main Staircase, built on 1570, a beautiful example of Baroque use of stucco. This area preserves some Roman reliefs coming from a monument dedicated to Hadrian and celebrating his deeds.
The decorations and contents are dedicated to the celebration of the history and culture of Rome; the earliest cycle of frescoes goes back to the beginning of the XVI century, and the last adjustments were done after the renovations of Michelangelo.
The first room is the Hall of the Horatii and Curiatii, featuring the frescoes of Giuseppe Cesari, the "Knight of Arpino", Caravaggio's first teacher and rival.
The "kings" of the hall, though, are the statues of the two rival popes, Pope Urban VIII Barberini and Pope Innocent X Pamphilj-- They are the works of, respectively, Bernini and Algardi, two rivals themselves.
The frescoes are by Tommaso Laureti, and the room is dedicated to famous men and Captains of the Pontifical Militia. They are all dressed in ancient Roman costumes even if they are dated starting the end of the XVII century, which is indeed entertaining!
Main features of the Hall, the "tribute" to Isis, a bust of Michelangelo and a famous head of Medusa by Bernini.