Allegory of Spring, d'Ambrosio.
The Musée du Louvre and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg are joining forces for an outstanding exhibition based on the collection built up by Marquis Campana mostly between the 1830s and the 1850s. For the first time since its dispersion in 1861, the exhibition will provide a comprehensive overview of the 19th century’s largest private collection. With over 12,000 archaeological objects, paintings, sculptures, and objets d’art, and comprising both ancient and modern artefacts, it was a rich, diverse collection of the highest quality.
The exhibition will showcase over 500 works, including such masterpieces as the Sarcophagus of the Spouses and Paolo Uccello’s Battle of San Romano. It presents the romantic figure of Giampietro Campana, the society in which he lived, the history of the collection, a reconstruction of parts of the Museo Campana in Rome, as well as the collector’s taste for pastiches and forgeries. It will also highlight the immense influence that the Campana collection had on arts and crafts in the late 19th century.
The Marquis Campana aimed to represent Italy’s cultural heritage, both ancient and modern. As such, the collection was a founding moment in the affirmation of Italian culture during the Risorgimento—the emergence of the Italian nation in the 19th century.
(Photo courtesy of Musee du Louvre.)