By Anne Leader

Art collector and politician Giuseppe Barracco was born on 28 April 1829 in Calabria. In 1902, he gave his extraordinary collection of antiquities to the city of Rome and commissioned a museum building to house it. Built as a replica of an Ionic temple, the original Museo di Scultura Antica (Museum of Ancient Sculpture) opened in 1905 and quickly gained international acclaim. The museum building was destroyed in 1938, and the collection was eventually moved to the Piccola Farnesina ai Bullari (1520-23), which was renamed after its founder. Today, the Museo Barracco is organized chronologically, and visitors can follow the history of ancient sculpture through galleries devoted to Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman works. Barracco’s library of Classical history, literature, and archaeology, which he began compiling as a student in the 1840s, is also housed at the museum.

Reference Giovanna Cassese. “Barracco, Giovanni.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 26 Apr. 2014. .

Original Museo Barracco (then called Museo di Scultura Antica)

Etruscan, Female head, second half of the 2nd century BCE, limestone

Ecclesia Romana, mosaic, 12th century, from St. Peter’s

Portrait of Barracco

Museo Barracco, Rome

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