Museums in Rome

  Athens
There is no lack of museums in Rome. A substantial part of the city is more or less an open-air museum anyway. So it shouldn't be too difficult to see plenty of good old Roman iron and steel hardware. Maybe that is true for smarter people than me. I, however, didn't see any - and I have been to quite a few Roman museums.
I did see a lot of extremely good things, however, some are shown below.
Let's start with the Galeria Nazionale del Antiqua. Nothing very "antiqua", however, just paintings. Swords were only shown in use like in this "Judith and Holofernes" from Caravaggio (1571 - 1620)
 
Museums Rome Caravaggio
Judith puts Holofernes to the sword
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
Otherwise they have the usual collections of great old ("antiqua") art. Eschewing details, most art pieces are either of the "dead Christians" or naked women type. Here are examples:
     
   
Museums Rome
Dead Christians type of art
The entombment of Christ; Jacobino del Conte (1510 - 1598)
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
Naked women type of art
Pittor Fiamingo; Diana and her nymphs bathing
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
The world-famous Vatican Museum also has a lot of old pictures on display. It is, however, clearly in favor of paintings showing dead or soon-to-be-dead Christians and eschews the naked woman kind of pictures. While I like my Christians dead, it gets a bit boring after a while.
Just kidding, There are many breathtaking paintings; I particularly liked these frescoes.
But the Vatican museum has much more to offer than just pictures. Here is Ullyses or Odyseus, apparently taking a selfie:
   
Rome, Vatican museum,. Odyseus
Odyseus taking a selfie?
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
  There are plenty of gorgeous marble sculptures and other great objects, often showing somebodies dinner.
     
   
Rome, Vatican museum
     
Rome; vatican museum
     
Rome, Vatican museum
Dinner Time
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
Marble and bronze sculptures, mosaics, Greek and Ertruscan vases, reliefs, you name it, it's there. Except iron, steel and swords. This picture shows pretty much the full extent of what you can find in this respect: Nothing of particular interest
     
.Walking through the vast area of the Forum Romanum and so on, you encounter the Palatine museum on the Palatine hill, where the palaces of the emperors used to be. Once more no metal but clear evidence of skilled steel tool uses:
 
Museums Rome; palatine museum
Small part of palace floor
Producing thousands of small marble pieces with precise shapes calls for steel tools
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
The Capitoline Museum is next. Wonderful, fascinating, breath-taking, marvellous - you can't praise it too much! There are even a few exciting Leda's. Just no metal objects.
As an example, here is another version of the dinner scene from above:
     
Museums in Rome; Capitolin museum
Dinner Time
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
We also have friendly Romans:
     
   
Museums in Rome; Capitolin museum
"The bathroom is over there"
Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, ca. 170 AD
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
Then we have the "dying Gaul" , one of the most famous cultures from antiquity:
     
   
Museums in Rome; Capitoline museum
Dying Gaul
Roman copy of a Greek sculpture; another picture is here.
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
.Let's move on the the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, a part of the Museo Nazionale Romano. Wonderful, fascinating, breath-taking, marvellous and so on once more. No iron steel and swords once more, too.
High points are the bronze sculpture of "the Boxer" and a marble disc thrower:
 
Museums Rome; Palazzo Massimo
Head of "The Boxer"
Large version and 2nd picture
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
Museums Rome; Palazzo Massimo
"Discobolus" or disc thrower
1st century BC copy of 5th century Greek original
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
And so on and so forth. Time to move on to the Galleria Borghese. It is world-famous and a private enterprise, meaning that it is crowded, expensive and not given to suck up to mere customers. Explanations, for example, are only given in Italian if at all.
I must admit, however, that the Galleria Borghese does have remarkable stuff - just no iron steel and swords.
Prominent among hundreds of world-class art works are in particular the Bernini "marbles". Below "Apollo and Daphne"; another one is here.
     
Rome museums; Villa Borghese
Apollo and Daphne; Bernini, ca, 1623
Apollo, hit by same magic, is deeply in love with Daphne, who, influenced by some other magic, can't stand him. The happy end (?) includes Daphne turning into a laurel tree.
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
Rome museums; Villa Borghese
Ratto di Proserpina (The Rape of Proserpina); Bernini 1621.
We see the abduction of Proserpina, where Proserpina is seized and taken to the underworld by the god Pluto. You also see Fluffy, Hagrid's three-headed dog of Harry Potter fame
Large picture
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
  By now it should be clear that Greek mythology was invented so that artists had an excuse for doing naked women (plus a naked men on occasion), using all the media at their disposal. That's fine with me; I definitely prefer it to doing dead Christians.
.No iron, steel and swords, of course. So let's move on to the Etruscan Museum. Marvellous and so on; and I mean it.
Hundreds of cases show highly interesting pottery; here is an example of a case, the next picture shows why the pottery might be highly interesting.
 
Museums Rome; Etruscan
One of many cases showing pottery
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
Museums Rome; Etruscan
Etruscans with clear ideas of how to have a good time
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
Finally! Some iron:
     
Museums Rome; Etruscan
Coppia di alari di ferro and almeno otto spiedi in ferro; 630 BC
Whatever, essentially spits for roasting your pig.
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
Explanations were given in Italian only (could be worse, e.g. Latin).
There were several interesting bronze objects and two actual swords:
     
Museums Rome; Etruscan
Iron swords. In a Rome museum!
The only ones I encountered.
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
 
Seven museums. All of them amazing. But only two (mediocre) iron swords. I'm sure there are more - in the museums I didn't see. So let's wait for next time around.

We also went to the opera in Rome. The building is not exactly a museum but it does have an interesting painting way up on the ceiling. With a good tele lens you can even find out what it features.
Surprise! Naked women!
 
Rome opera
Ceiling painting at the Rome opera
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
Rome opera
Ceiling painting at the Rome opera; detail
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
   
Rome opera
Ceiling painting at the Rome opera; detail
Source: Photographed in Rome; April 2016
     
Visiting Rome is fun. You should definitely do it. Go to the museums. You may not find the iron, steel and swords you are looking for but in almost all those places you will find other things also dear to (most) men older than about 13.
     

With frame With frame as PDF

go to Critical Museum Guide

go to Florence Museums

go to Leda and the Swan

go to The Celts

go to 10.1.5 Copper Final

go to Large Pictures III

© H. Föll (Iron, Steel and Swords script)