The Boncompagni Ludovisi Collection


İn 1885, despite great protests among the intellectuals, the area of the gorgeous Villa Ludovisi on the Quirinal Hill, between Porta Pinciana and Porta Salaria, was parcelled out and built upon. Such an urbanization work entailed the demolition of most of the buildings of the Villa; for this reason, in 1901, the Italian State, upon the solicitation of the then Minister Quintino Sella, purchased 104 sculptures from the Ludovisi family,  in order to preserve from dispersion the main nucleus of the prestigious collection started from Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi between 1621 and 1623.

The artworks resided for long time in the Small Cloister of the Charterhouse, part of the National Roman Museum at the Baths of Diocletian, then, in 1997, they were eventually transferred to Palazzo Altemps wherein they were given a definitive setting.

Among the most representative examples noticeable are the Gaul Killing Himself and His Wife, the Ludovisi Ares restored by Bernini,  the Ludovisi Throne and the so-called Grande Ludovisi Sarcophagus.

Group with Eros and Psyche
Bas-relief with mask