Cast of corner of cornice from Aula Regia, late 18th century
From: Domitian's Palace, Palatine, Rome
RA Collection: Art
On free display in The Dorfman Architecture Court
The cast shows a portion of a carefully-decorated cornice which was found in the Aula Regia (the main public room) of the imperial palace on the Palatine hill in Rome. The palace was commissioned by the Emperor Domitian and planned by his architect Rabirius between 81 and 92.
The Farnese family conducted excavations on their property on the Palatine in the early 18th century. From 1745-1750 many of the finds were drawn by Giovanni Battista Piranesi still in situ. Thereafter, some of the finer pieces were taken to the Farnese palace.
When the Farnese moved its collection to Naples, the large niches that opened on to the garden were left empty. Thus, between 1830 and 1840 Antonio Cipolla constructed two artistic assemblages or 'Trophies' from objects which had been left behind. This cast is from part of one of the two 'Farnese Trophies' which are now in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. These assemblages were based on Piranesi's groupings of objects, some of which had been published in his Trofei di Ottaviano Augusto (1753). There are two other casts in the RA Collection taken from elements of the other Farnese Trophy, 12/2295 and 12/2298.
This cast was probably made before the original was incorporated into the Trophy as it preserves more of the rosette in the coffer than the original object in the Trophy.
67 cm x 46 cm x 53 cm, Weight: 46.4 kg
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