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Appartamento Borgia, a series of ten noble halls, at the end next to the palace in the Belvedere Court; he placed the Byzantine pictures in the Christian Museum ; he continued the useful work of covering the Loggie with glass, and restored the frescoes of the upper corridor, by the help of Professor Agricola. Gregory founded the Lateran Museum, which Pius IX. has much enriched. The Antinous and Sophocles were acquisitions of his reign. All these acquisitions may fairly be attributed to Gregory XVI., and when I was in Rome in 1842-3 he was engaged in similar duties, and the Vatican, as heretofore, was accessible at reasonable hours. Not so in 1853-4. I then found many troublesome restrictions; and, more than once, when visiting the apartments, even on public days, was obliged to leave them at an unusual hour, because his Holiness chose to walk in them.
The French garrison contributed much to the security of his Holiness in the streets of Rome; but the sight of the patrols and sentries could not add to the pleasures of a promenade, and I can easily understand why Pius preferred his own endless galleries to a public street or suburban road. Nevertheless, the well-known liberality of former pontiffs, and of Pius himself in former times, made recent regulations, both at the Vatican and Capitol, more annoying to strangers.
VILLA ALBANI. The Abate Gaetano Marini published the Inscriptions and an enumeration of the marbles, with a concise
description annexed to each. Vincenzo Poggidi also published the Inscriptions. The catalogue was reprinted in 1803, and after the plunder of the French the number of statues, busts, hermes, reliefs, mosaics, urns, and sculptured marbles of every description, including recent acquisitions, amounts to six hundred and twenty-four, the number of inscriptions to a hundred and five. Some of the stolen treasures, and amongst them the superb Antinous, had been recovered; but what must the whole collection have been when Winkelmann arranged and illustrated this great repository of ancient art? In the apartment called the Coffee-house they have supplied the place of the cameos with imitations in paste.
Hadrian's Tiburtine Villa furnished the greater part of the collection. A whole apartment in the Capitoline Museum, and very many niches in the Vatican, have been filled from the same vast assemblage of imperial rarities. The sculptor and the architect and the antiquary owe more to Hadrian and to Nero than to any other emperor. The busts of Trajan seem to have been multiplied during the reign of his grateful successor ; several of them were found in his Tiburtine villa. The best of Roman princes had a countenance displaying more benevolence than dignity. The lower does not correspond, either in size or expression, with the upper portion of the face.
Some of the Albani portraits are, I presume, apocryphal. The naked Brutus, with the iron dagger, is a strange figure; there is something mean and insignifi
cant in the mouth and chin of the busts that pass for this patriot.
In looking at the inscriptions, sepulchral and dedicatory, of this collection, I was pleased to observe that the eulogies were concise. Even Marcus Aurelius is only "the best and most indulgent prince." "Optimo Civi, ob merita" is all the praise given to a Questor, an Edile, and Curator of the Public Works, Licinius Herodes. The superlatives, such as pientissimo, piissimo, sanctissimo, rarissimo, dulcissimo, carissimo, are sometimes employed, but one of these generally serves for each of the dead. I saw no affected addresses to survivors; a simple prayer to the passing traveller I did see:—
Nor are there many moral reflections in these epitaphs;
I remarked only one epitaph in verse, to Terentia Asiatica Alunna. The affectation of using Greek letters is observable here and there:—
TITIAI EAniAI MAP
The famous stucco reliefs, representing the Labours of Hercules, afford an excellent specimen of what may be done by the labours of an antiquary. Let any one try to decipher a line or two of the writing, and he will be able to appreciate the merit of Corsini, who has given a version of the whole inscription on the pilasters.
The Casino of the Villa Albani possesses attractions superior to those of any of the suburban palaces of Rome. Those who are indifferent to the treasures within may still enjoy the glorious prospect to be seen from the gardens. The view from the terrace surpasses, perhaps, that from the opposite extremity of the great city, inasmuch as there is greater variety and grandeur of scenery in the Tiburtine than in the Alban hills. After being hurried through the galleries by the weary guardian of marble gods and heroes and emperors, who tells his tale with fretful impatience, you are allowed to linger in the gardens and gaze at your leisure on scenes which, even if history and fable had not attached an eternal interest to every sunny peak and dark chasm of the mountain-landscape before you, would reward you for a journey of a thousand miles—
"Enjoy them you—Villario can no more."
The Cardinal Albani, in 1828, when this trivial sketch of his villa was made, was legate at Bologna, and never
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visited his Roman paradise. At my next visit, in 1843, lie was dead, and it was not to be seen without a written i rder.
The Villa Borghese.
The greater part of the antiques of this famous villa, amounting to 155, were sold to Napoleon in 1808. The family claimed them in 1814, but Louis XVLLT. refused to restore them, as having been lawfully purchased.* Some, however, of the marbles remained; the gardens continued to be embellished; magnificent entrance gates were constructed; and the villa was crowded with visitors of every class and description. But in 1849 the republican forces encamped there, and in 1854 I found the principal entrance closed, many of the trees cut down, and the gardens allowed to be seen only once a week.