Christopher Johns, Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Professor of History of Art, will address “Preserving the Patrimony: Cultural Properties and the Rise of Museums in Enlightenment Rome” as part of the Dickson Memorial Lecture Series at Penn State University on Thursday, October 13.
The Dying Gaul, known as the Wounded Gladiator in the eighteenth century, was unearthed in the gardens of the Villa Ludovisi in the early seventeenth century, and remained in the family collections until it was acquired by Clement XII for the Capitoline Museum in 1736. A marble copy of a lost bronze Greek original, the Dying Gaul was one of the most famous sculptures in the world during the Age of the Grand Tour.
Johns will discuss the establishment of the Capitoline Museum in Rome in 1734 as the culmination of enlightened papal policies deployed to preserve Rome’s artistic heritage from sale to foreign collectors in the Age of the Grand Tour. The Capitoline Museum was the first modern institution opened to the paying public interested in looking at works of art—the type of museum familiar to us today.
The annual Dickson Memorial Lecture Series in Art History, named in honor of the late Professor Harold E. Dickson, brings leading scholars in art history to Penn State to share their latest research and meet with students.
The Palazzo Nuovo, one of the three main buildings of the Capitoline Museums surrounding the Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome