Modern base composed of an ancient altar

Base moderna composta da un'ara antica
End of the Flavian era (end of 1rst century BC - early years of the second century AD)
Material and technique: 
Marble of Carrara and marble of Luni
massima alt. 97 cm larg. 76 cm prof. 54 cm
From Parco of Villa Torlonia
MCN 11

The front face of the funerary altar has two small, smooth pilasters with capitals decorated on the front by eagles in flight, and, at the sides, by crossed cornucopias.
A frieze stretches between the two capitals with, at its centre, a tuft of acanthus from which plant volutes extend. Set among the volutes are a lion, on the left, and a bull, on the right.
In the central panel, with its simple frame, a Latin inscription suggests that a bronze personification of Rome was originally set on the base.
The sides are adorned by an urceus (a single-handed jug) and patera umbelicata, the symbols of the sacrificial rite held in honour of the deceased.
The iconography and style of the Torlonia Altar suggest it should be dated to between the end of the Flavian era and the early years of the second century AD.

The hall


Valadier’s original simple facade was added to with a majestic pronaos, porticoed on the ground floor, open in a loggia on the first floor, and crowned by a triangular pediment.
The lower section of the forepart has a base made of smooth ashlars that imitate travertine, and forms a covered atrium that allowed carriages to pass through.

Today it is home to the bookshop.

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