This spacious rectangular room, which measures more than 1000 square meters, is dominated by a huge steam boiler fixed to one of the short walls.
The only survivor of the three boilers originally installed, it rises from the floor to the ceiling in a complex net of tubes, bricks and metal walkways.
Gardens of Sallust
This residential complex, previously owned by Caesar, then by the historian Sallust, and then by his great-nephew, became part of the imperial property in 20 AD, and was developed into three great terraces in what is now the Ludovisi zone. The remains of the gardens’ rich decorative apparatus is divided among various Italian and foreign museums.
On display are several original Greek sculptures, of very high quality, from the temple buildings and a frieze of acanthus spirals with sphinxes, dated to the early Augustan period, which, together with a colossal statue of Apollo, allude to Augustus’ victory at Actium over Cleopatra (and Antony) and thereby over Egypt.
Military trophy, Sculpture, Augustan period
Acroterio: Winged Victory, Sculpture, 480-460 BC
Pedimental decoration of the temple of Apollo Daphnephóros in Eretria: statue of a kneeling Amazon, Sculpture, Late VI century BC
Acanthus scrolls frieze with sphinxes, Sculpture, Early Augustan period
Villa of the Vignacce
The villa, built on the right of the ancient Via Latina, in its heyday belonged to Quinto Servilio Pudente, a very rich brick producer linked to the imperial court. His entrepreneurial activity, already attested in 123 AD, continued throughout the second half of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117 – 138 AD). The bricks used for the construction of Villa Adriana in Tivoli came from his workshops.
The statue of Marsyas was found in 2009 in Rome, in the Parco degli Acquedotti (between the Appian and Tuscolan streets), at the so-called Villa delle Vignacce.
Marsyas statue, Sculpture
Gardens of Licinius
All that remains of the sumptuous residence of the emperor Licinius Gallieno is a monumental nymphaeum, the so-called Temple of Minerva Physician, not far from Termini Station. Several notable sculptures were found reused inside it, outstanding among which are the statues of two magistrates commencing the circus games, perhaps Quintus Aurelius Simmacus and his son Memmius Simmacus, who had high profiles in late fourth century AD Rome.
Not far from this area, near the church of Saint Bibiana, the remains of a large polychrome mosaic showing the capture of wild animals (gazelles, bears and boars) for the circus games were discovered.
Mosaic with hunting scenes, Mosaic / Intarsia, Early IVth century AD
Statue of young magistrate, Sculpture, Late IVth-early Vth century AD
Statue of elderly magistrate, Sculpture, Late IVth – early Vth century BC
Dancing satyr statue, Sculpture, From a Hellenistic original
Statue of Dionysus with panther, Sculpture, From a Hellenistic original
Statue of a seated girl, Sculpture, 2nd century AD
New Hope garden
The Horti Spei Veteris were a large imperial estate extending from what is now Porta Maggiore to the south-east corner of the city. Emperor Septimius Severus transformed them into gardens, building a splendid residential complex here (completed by Heliogabalus) comprising a palace with a circus and court amphitheater. Parts of this structure, the so-called ‘Amphitheatrum Castrense’, still survive today. In fact, it was incorporated into the Aurelian Walls that were built from AD 271 onwards to defend the city from barbarian attacks, bisecting the Severan monumental complex. The splendid statue of the Muse Polymnia, which probably belonged to the decorative scheme of the Horti Spei Veteris, was found in 1928 in an underground passage near Villa Fiorelli,
Muse Statue: Polymnia, Sculpture, From an Hellenistic original
House of Fulvius Plauziano
During the excavations for the creation of the tunnel under the Quirinale at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, the remains of a house were found, attributed to Fulvius Plauziano, the prefect of the Praetorian Guard under Septimus Severus, on the basis of an inscription legible on the lead water-piping.
Elements of the sculptural decoration, statues and busts, relief and portrait slabs, were found, still in place inside the rooms, the floors of which were laid in marble and mosaics.
Male bust, Sculpture, Mid 2nd century AD
Bust of Lucilla, Sculpture,
Relief with theatrical masks, Sculpture
The Esquiline Gardens, Via Ariosto
Most of the sculpture rediscovered in the Nineteenth century excavations on the Esquiline was found in fragments, reused as construction material in the walls of Late Antique buildings. In the area that today lies between Piazza Dante and the Via Ariosto, within the confines of the what are thought to have been the Lamiani Gardens, a huge marble bowl was found, decorated with acanthus spirals and strands of ivy, and used as a fountain, a group of miniature statues of divinities from the early imperial age.
Fountain basin with carving of acanthus scrolls and vine branches, Sculpture, Second half of the Ist century BC
House of the Via Cavour
Works done to create the Underground in 1940 led to the discovery, on the corner of Via Cavour and Via di S. Maria Maggiore, of several of the rooms of a Roman house built in the Hadrianic era.
The rooms face onto an open space decorated with a fountain; in the vestibule and the large marble floored hall, four notable marble sculptures were found, which had already been restored in antiquity: two statues of Pothos, the nostalgic love felt for someone far away, one of a sleeping satyr, and one of a Roman general in heroic nudity.
Statue of Pothos, Sculpture, Copy from the Hadrianic period of a 4th century BC original
Roman general statue, Sculpture, Copy from the Hadrianic period of a 4th century BC original
Resting satyr statue, Sculpture, Hadrianic period
House of Porta San Lorenzo
At the end of the 1800, during the opening of a passage for a tram line through the Aurelian Wall, near the Porta San Lorenzo, an older architectural structure was found inside, which was probably the foundation wall of a garden from the early Italian period. It was articulated by niches plastered with pumice stones, shells and a rough mosaic, which still retain part of the original sculptural decoration.
Next to the remains of a group of satyrs fighting with a giant anguipede, which recalls the art of Pergamum, were other sculptures of purely decorative value.
Satyr fighting against the giants, Sculpture, From a Hellenistic original
Group of panther and wild boar, Sculpture,
Muse figurine, Sculpture, From a Hellenistic original
Funerary Monuments and the Ostiense Necropolis
In the funerary art section are displayed the funerary monument of Sulpicius Maximus, who, as a very young poet, won a musical competition in 94 AD, and the funerary cippo of Giulius Elius Iulus, a rich shoemaker shown in a pose of heroic nudity.
Additionally, the principle phases of the vast necropolis, which was in use from the end of the late republican period to the IVth century AD, are illustrated with portraits of the dead, funerary altars, ash urns, funerary cippi and sarcophagai. The necropolis was discovered in the environs of the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls; part of it is still visible in the middle of the current road.
Funeral stele of C. Giulio Elio, Funerary monument and ornaments, Last 20 years of the Ist century AD
Funerary monument of Sulpicio Massimo, Funerary monument and ornaments, Late Ist century AD
Polychrome mosaic with the rat of Proserpina and busts of the Seasons, Mosaic / Intarsia, Mid 2nd century AD
Fragment of a sarcophagus lid, Funerary monument and ornaments, Last 20 years of the IInd century AD
Montemartini power plant
The Montemartini power station was a thermoelectric power plant on the Via Ostiense in Rome. Following its decommissioning as an electricity production plant, it is now used as a museum forming part of the museum system of Roma Capitale called Musei in Comune. It houses about 400 Roman statues, already exhibited in the Capitoline Museums or recovered from the rich municipal deposits, together with epigraphs and mosaics, in an extraordinary setting of industrial archeology.
The history of the new exhibition space for the Musei Capitolini in the former Giovanni Montemartini Thermoelectric Centre, an extraordinary example of industrial archaeology converted into a museum, began in 1997 with the transfer of hundreds of sculptures to the new location during the restructuring works carried out across much of the Capitoline complex.
To create space in the Museum of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, the Museo Nuovo and the Braccio Nuovo, while keeping the works of art accessible to the public, an exhibition was created in 1997 in the restructured rooms of the first public electricity plant in Rome. The exhibition was entitled “The machines and the gods”: it put side by side two diametrically opposed worlds, those of classical art and industrial archaeology. In an atmospheric game of contrasts, the old machinery of electricity production became the backdrop for masterpieces of ancient sculpture and precious goods found in the excavations of the late nineteenth century and the 1930s. The display reconstructs some of the great monumental complexes and illustrates the development of the ancient city from the Republican era to the late imperial age.
The adaption of the building into a museum, the restoration of the machines and the educational sections about industrial archaeology have all been created by ACEA. The outstanding museum space was originally thought of as a temporary solution. However when part of the sculptural collection was returned to the Campidoglio in 2005, on the conclusion of the restructuring works, it was decided to turn the building into a permanent location for a collection of the Museio Capitolini’s most recent acquisitions.
The space is used for continual experiments in possible display methods, particularly those connected to scientific research on the remains; bringing together works from the same area of provenance also allows the links between the museum and the fabric of the ancient city to be continually renewed. The museum itself is part of a wider project to redefine the Ostiense Marconi area, converting it into a cultural centre for the oldest industrial area of Rome (including, as well as the electricity plant, the Slaughter House, the Gasometer, structures from the docks, the old Mira Lanza site and the old General Markets), with the defining structure of the university campus of Roma Tre.