The salon of marbles

The Sommariva collection’s most famous statues were shown here together for many years, but they are now exhibited in various rooms around the museum. Only the Venus and Mars group, made in Rome by Luigi Acquisti in 1805, remains in its original position, in the centre of the room.

A masterpiece of nineteenth-century European sculpture decorates the walls: the marble frieze of Alexander the Great’s Triumphal Entry to Babylon (1818–28), commissioned by Giovanni Battista Sommariva from sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. A plaster version of this high relief, conceived as an allegorical homage of Napoleon’s deeds, was cast in 1812 for the Quirinale Palace in Rome.

Looking up at the ceiling, we see the keel vault made by Master Lodovico Pogliaghi (1857–1950), commissioned by Duke Giorgio II.