Published on: September 23, 2009
Marcellus exhibition in Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Massimo, Rome (IT) is a homage to Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a great Roman military leader.
The lighting design was done by Rome based architect and lighting designer Francesca Storaro in collaboration with Prof. Vittorio Storaro.
Additional credits go to Lucilla Furfaro – Art Direction Consultant and Giovanni Caprotti from Erco Illuminazione srl – Lighting Consultant.
A description of the project from Francesca Storaro follows:
The Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici (local archaeological heritage authority) of Rome is celebrating ten years of activity of the Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Massimo, Rome, with a series of initiatives to highlight the richness of its collections and its ties with the city.
In the room of Augustus and of traditions on the origins of Rome the beautiful Parian marble bust depicting Marcus Claudius Marcellus will be on display for the first time, from 19 December 2008 to 7 June 2009.
The portrait belongs to the Fondazione Sorgente Group, an Art and Culture Institution guided by Prof. Valter Mainetti; Prof. Claudio Strinati chairs the Scientific Committee.
The bust depicts a youngster aged about twenty, his hair sporting a fringe and a â€śdouble helixâ€ť pattern on the nape, with upper lip slightly protruding and wearing a slightly melancholic expression. The surface of the sculpture shows traces of having been buried for a long time, and has one or two slight scratches.
The overall structure and softness of the shaping make this sculpture one of the masterpieces of the early Augustan age (around 20 B.C.).
The portrait represents one of the most important protagonists of that time: Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Born in 42 B.C, the son of Octavia, Augustusâ€™ sister, therefore the latterâ€™s nephew, he was adopted at a very young age by his uncle, and took part with Augustus himself in wars on the Spanish peninsula.
Augustus had great expectations of him â€“ he championed his nomination first as aedile, then as pontifex.
But in 23 B.C., at the age of just twenty, the young man perished at Baiae, perhaps the result of a plot concocted by Agrippa and Livia.
Augustus, stricken by the death of his possible heir, had him buried in the Mausoleum he had built in Campus Martius, and in 11 B.C. named the theatre flanking the river Tiber the Theatre of Marcellus.
This exhibition will be putting on show, for the first time, the three portraits that reveal the features of Augustusâ€™ young nephew. The sculpture is presented alongside the extraordinary sculpture from the Musei Capitolini and another sculpture discovered in the House of the Citarista at Pompei, housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.
Serving as a backdrop to these portraits is the reproduction of the Theatre of Marcellus as described by Vaudoyer in the 19th century.
The lighting system, designed by Prof. Vittorio Storaro and Arch. Francesca Storaro, is broken down into three levels:
1)Â Â Â lighting of room architecture, highlighting the pilasters, pillars and vault
2)Â Â Â lighting of sculptures on permanent display, such as the sculpture of Augustus, the Altar dedicated to Mars and Venus and the Frieze of the Basilica Aemilia
3)Â Â Â lighting of the three portraits of Marcellus, on temporary show
All exhibition items are illuminated from above, in order to avoid having to modify flooring and existing walls. Metal structures have been mounted to support the electrified tracks inside which lights are installed, making for a very flexible system.
The tone of sculpture lighting is chiefly warm white, fully respecting the works of art, while the lighting of room architecture is predominantly light blue, a colour in the centre of the colour range, symbolising Marcellus and his premature end.
Note of the editor:
Please note the copyright of these images is retained by Francesca Storaro and the photographer Rino Malgrande. Use of those images is subject to them being used for this article only. Publication of any image in any form or fashion must include a credit for both Francesca Storaro and the photographer.
Posted by: LuÄŤka Slatner