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The Palatine Museum exhibits works all coming from the Palatine where Augustus, Tiberius, Nero and especially Domitian built the Imperial Domus, so it is obvious that the visitor is faced with masterpieces of great value and historical importance.

Following a chronological order we present:
The Temple of Apollo, built by Augustus in the Augustan area of the Palatine.
The Nero's Transitoria Domus.
The works come largely from Domitian Palace, which for over two centuries was the seat of the successors of Domitian.

Augustus built the Temple of Apollo in the vicinity of his house and that of his wife Livia, around the Temple stood the porch of the Danaides, from which come the extraordinary archaic painted pottery exhibited in the museum, of which we offer a glance.

Palatine Museum - Temple of Apollo
Palatine Museum, Temple of Apollo - click to enlarge

Do not miss the extraordinary antefixes, starting from the lion’s head ending with those depicting Silenus and the elephant. In the cornice of a roof we see two griffinson the sides of a crater and Isis flanked by two sphinxes.

Impressive are the slabs like that showing a Gorgon with Perseus and Athena at her sides, the one that shows two girls decorating the “Baetilus”, that is the stone which symbolizes Apollo.
And to end, the contest between Apollo and Hercules for possession of the Delphic tripod.

Gorgon with Perseus and Athena
Gorgon with Perseus and Athena - click to enlarge

As you can see there are clear traces of color with which were painted the slabs.
Near the house of Augustus were some rooms, probably belonging to the same emperor, from which comes the famous fresco depicting Apollo Citharist.

The Domus Transitoria was built by Nero in the first years of his reign from 54 AD. The Domus Neroniana, that was connected to the Domus Tiberiana by a long underground porch (cryptoporticus), was destroyed in 64 during the catastrophic fire that burned a large part of Rome.

Palatine Museum - Domus Neroniana
Palatine Museum, Domus Neroniana - click to enlarge

Moreover, the building constituted a significant change compared to the classic style of Augustus, favoring the illusionistic aspects of the frescoes and the decorative splendor of marble inlays. The paintings were then called fantastic or fourth style, to differentiate them from previous styles.

The remains of the Domus Transitoria were found in 1912,  below the triclinium of the Domus Flavia, erected by Domitian, and in 1959 frescoes and inlays were detached, to be nowadays on display in the Palatine Museum.
The pictorial cycle represents scenes from the Trojan War framed with plant motifs, candelabras and more by following the illusionistic fantasy that characterizes them enriched by inlays in precious stones and glass paste placed in a slate background.

Domus Neroniana - the pictorial cycle
Domus Neroniana, the pictorial cycle - click to enlarge

The most magnificent of the imperial palaces on the Palatine was the one built by the architect Rabirio, commissioned by Domitian.

The palace was divided into three buildings, the Domus Flavia, intended to public functions, the Domus Augustana, private residence of the emperor, so called because for centuries was the seat of the successors of Domitian and the stadium.

Palazzo di Domiziano
Domitian Palace - click to enlarge

Most of the works on display in the Palatino Museum come from the Domitian complex, works that to have been commissioned by emperors are excellent workmanship.

Below we show you just a glance. Let's start with the Roman copies of Greek originals such as the Apollo type “Anzio”; the Aphrodite Sosandra; the Ganymede; the beautiful Paris; the Dying Persian, replica of a Pergamum original, belonging to the second Hellenistic style and the Satyr also of the second Hellenistic style.

Paris Dying Persian
Paris - click to enlarge Dying Persian - click to enlarge

About the imperial portraiture we show: Nero (37 -68 AD) young and adult; Antoninus Pius (86 - 161); Marcus Aurelius young (121- 180); the unforgettable Princess, perhaps the daughter of Marcus Aurelius; Julia Domna, the powerful wife of Septimius Severus (145 - 211); Maximinus Thrax (173 - 238); Balbino (178 - 238).

Antoninus Pius Princess
Antoninus Pius - click to enlarge Princess - click to enlarge



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