The Info List - Naples National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples
(Italian: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, sometimes abbreviated to MANN) is an important Italian archaeological museum, particularly for ancient Roman remains. Its collection includes works from Greek, Roman and Renaissance
times, and especially Roman artifacts from nearby Pompeii, Stabiae
and Herculaneum. It was formerly the Real Museo Borbonico ("royal Bourbon museum").


1 Building 2 Collections

2.1 Marbles 2.2 Bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri 2.3 Mosaics 2.4 Egyptian Collection 2.5 Secret Cabinet

3 Gallery 4 References 5 External links

Building[edit] The building was built as a cavalry barracks in 1585. From 1616 to 1777 it was the seat of the University of Naples. During the 19th century, after it became museum, it suffered many changes to the main structure. Collections[edit] The museum hosts extensive collections of Greek and Roman antiquities. Their core is from the Farnese Collection, which includes a collection of engraved gems (including the Farnese Cup, a Ptolemaic bowl made of sardonyx agate and the most famous piece in the "Treasure of the Magnificent", and is founded upon gems collected by Cosimo de' Medici and Lorenzo il Magnifico
Lorenzo il Magnifico
in the 15th century) and the Farnese Marbles. Among the notable works found in the museum are the Herculaneum papyri, carbonized by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, found after 1752 in Villa of the Papyri.

Venus Kallipygos

Marbles[edit] The greater part of the museum's classical sculpture collection largely comes from the Farnese Marbles, important since they include Roman copies of classical Greek sculpture, which are in many cases the only surviving indications of what the lost works by ancient Greek sculptors such as Calamis, Kritios
and Nesiotes
looked like. Many of these works, especially the larger ones, have been moved to the Museo di Capodimonte for display in recent years.

The Farnese Hercules, which fixed the image of Hercules in the European imagination. The Farnese Atlas
Farnese Atlas
is the oldest extant depiction of Atlas from Greek mythology, and the oldest view of the Western constellations, possibly based upon the star catalog of Hipparchus The Farnese Bull, widely considered the largest single sculpture ever recovered from antiquity. The group Harmodius and Aristogeiton, a Roman copy of a bronze work that once stood in the Agora of Athens The Venus Kallipygos The Farnese Artemis, again a Roman copy of a Greek original a collection of busts of Roman emperors another set of Roman sculptures (again mainly copies of Greek work) that (like the Hercules) once stood in the Baths of Caracalla
Baths of Caracalla
in Rome.

Bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri[edit] A major collection of ancient Roman bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri is housed at the museum. These include the Seated Hermes, a sprawling Drunken Satyr, a bust of Thespis, another variously identified as Seneca[1] or Hesiod,[2] and a pair of exceptionally lively runners.

The Alexander Mosaic

Heron and cobra. Ancient Roman
Ancient Roman
fresco from House of Epigrammes, Pompeii
(45–79 d.C.), Italy

Mosaics[edit] The museum's Mosaic
Collection includes a number of important mosaics recovered from the ruins of Pompeii
and the other Vesuvian cities. This includes the Alexander Mosaic, dating from circa 100 BC, originally from the House of the Faun
House of the Faun
in Pompeii. It depicts a battle between the armies of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
and Darius III of Persia. Another mosaic found is that of the gladiatorial fighter depicted in a mosaic found from the Villa of the Figured Capitals in Pompeii.


Egyptian Collection[edit] With 2,500 objects,[3] the museum has one of the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Italy
after the Turin, Florence
and Bologna ones. It is made up primarily of works from two private collections, assembled by Cardinal Stefano Borgia in the second half of the 18th century, and Picchianti in the first years of the 19th. In the recent rearrangement of the galleries the two nuclei have been exhibited separately, while in the connecting room other items are on display, including Egyptian and "pseudo-Egyptian" artefacts from Pompeii
and other Campanian sites. In its new layout the collection provides both an important record of Egyptian civilization from the Old Kingdom (2700-2200 B.C.) up to the Ptolemaic-Roman era.[4] Secret Cabinet[edit] The Secret Cabinet (Gabbinete) or Secret Room is the name the Bourbon Monarchy gave the private rooms in which they held their fairly extensive collection of erotic or sexual items, mostly deriving from excavations of Pompeii
and Herculaneum. Access was limited to only persons of mature age and known morals. The rooms were also called Cabinets of matters reserved or obscene or pornographic. After the revolution of 1848, the government of the monarchy even proposed the destruction of objects, fearful of the implications of their ownership, which would tarnish the monarchy with lasciviousness. The then director of the Royal Bourbon Museum instead had access to the collection terminated, and the entrance door was provided with three different locks, whose keys were held respectively by the Director of the Museum, the Museum Controller, and the Palace Butler. The highlight of the censorship occurred in 1851 when even nude Venus statues were locked up, and the entrance walled up in the hope that the collection would vanish from memory. In September 1860, when the forces of Garibaldi
occupied Naples, he ordered that the collection be made available for the general public to view. Since the Royal Butler was no longer available, they broke into the collection. Limiting viewership and censorship have always been part of the history of the collection. Censorship was restored during the era of the Kingdom of Italy, and peaked during the Fascist period, when visitors to the rooms needed the permission of the Minister of National Education in Rome. Censorship persisted in the postwar period up to 1967, abating only after 1971 when the Ministry was given the new rules to regulate requests for visits and access to the section. Completely rebuilt a few years ago with all of the new criteria, the collection was finally opened to the public in April 2000. Visitors under the age of 14 can tour the exhibit only with an adult.

The Placentarius, the small bronze statue represents a distinctly ithyphallic old nude man who, on the palm of his hand, holds a little silver tray.


Fish Catalogue mosaic

Fish and ducks, Roman mosaic

and Agamemnon, scene from Book I of the Iliad, Roman mosaic

‘Cave canem’ (beware of the dog) mosaic

Achilles' surrender of Briseis
to Agamemnon, from the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii, fresco, 1st century AD


^ John Walsh and Debra Gribbon, The J. Paul Getty Museum and Its Collections: A Museum for the New Century (Getty Publicans, 1997), p. 45. ^ Jerome Jordan Pollitt, Art in the Hellenistic Age (Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 162. ^ Borriello, M.R.; Giove, T. (2000). La collezione egiziana del museo archeologico di Napoli: guida alla collezione (in Italian). Naples: Electa, Soprintendenza archeologica di Napoli e Caserta. p. 9.  ^ Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine. (in English)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Museo archeologico nazionale (Naples).

Official website

v t e



Pompei Mount Vesuvius 62 Pompeii
earthquake Eruption of Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius
in 79

Villas of Pompeii‎

Villa of the Mysteries

of Pompeii‎

House of the Faun House of Sallust House of the Centenary House of Julia Felix House of Loreius Tiburtinus House of Menander House of the surgeon House of the Silver Wedding House of the Tragic Poet House of the Vettii Lupanar

Public buildings of Pompeii‎

Aqua Augusta Macellum of Pompeii

Recreational buildings of Pompeii‎

Amphitheatre Suburban Baths

Temples of Pompeii

Temple of Apollo Temple of Isis Temple of Jupiter

Other sites destroyed in the 79 Eruption


Villa of the Papyri


Villa Poppaea

Stabiae Villa Boscoreale

Archaeological Museum

National Archaeological Museum

Art in Pompeii

and Briseis Alexander Mosaic Portrait of Paquius Proculo Erotic art in Pompeii
and Herculaneum Pompeian Styles Conservation issues of Pompeii
and Herculaneum Pompeii
in popular culture

v t e

Museums in Naples

Cappella Sansevero Certosa di San Martino Città della Scienza Girolamini Museo Civico Filangieri Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina Museo del Corallo Museo di Capodimonte Museo Mustilli Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro National Archaeological Museum (Secret Museum) National Museum of Ceramics National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano‎ Pio Monte della Misericordia Royal Palace of Caserta Royal Palace of Naples
( Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III
Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III
• Farnese Collection) Villa Pignatelli Zoological Museum of Naples

Coordinates: 40°51′12.16″N 14°15′1.75″E / 40.8533778°N 14.2504861°E / 40.8533778; 14.2504861

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 134828205 LCCN: n80044962 ISNI: 0000 0001 2289 7996 GND: 1053223-7 SUDOC: 028556127 BNF: cb11866601c (data) BIBSYS: 90615453 NLA: 35416902 NKC: ko2005293947 B