The Foundation was established in 2004 in memory of Dino Santarelli and has origin from the “Miliarum” association, founded in 1999 by the Santarelli family, deeply involved in artistic, educational and humanitarian activities. Following the death of Mrs Ernesta D’Orazio Santarelli, it was changes in “Fondazione Dino and Ernesta Santarelli”.
The passion for collecting pieces of art in the family began in the end of the nineteenth century and came from Santa Marchioni D’Orazio, who was followed with ardor by her daughter Ernesta D’Orazio Santarelli, by her granddaughter Paola Santarelli, who greatly increased the collection, and her daughter Vittoria Bonifati Santarelli, who loved and studied the collection deeply.
Four roman women through three centuries.
The Foundation’s collection of works draws its origins from the interest of Ernesta D’Orazio Santarelli in marble sculptures and polychrome stones. Ernesta, after her mother Santa, cultivated the same passion and Paola, the President of the Foundation, while gathering Ernesta’s inspiring principles and enthusiasm, considerably increased the initial core, guided by the passion for the history of Rome and for shared collecting. This special focus on Rome and its historical stratification is at the center of the development of the artistic collection and constitutes the main direction that guides the purchases in the antiques market and collections of historical families. Her daughter Vittoria, curator of contemporary art, gave way to a comparison between contemporary and ancient art with a series of interesting and innovative exhibitions at the Villa Lontana site, in Rome.
The Foundation is a non-profit organization for social utility and assistance to children, aimed at promoting and supporting the distribution and research in arts’ history and Ancient Rome in Italy and abroad, with focus on marble sculptures, colored marbles of ancient imperial Rome and glyptic art, and also providing publications and awards.
This collection is one of the biggest private collection of the world in its genre; it is the largest of the whole world for the colored marbles of the Roman Empire.
The collection has been implemented by over 1800 specimens of architectonical fragments, marble flooring and colored marbles of Imperial age and by 1280 antique colored marble samples; the specimens are a rare heritage of stone pits of roman era.
The Santarelli family through four generation of women has collected works of art of marble sculptures starting from Roman Era from 1st century b.C. to 4th-5th century a.C., later extended from the Ptolemaic Era to Thorvaldsen to Canova (19th century). Today the collection consists of more of 360 stone sculptures.
Over the years the Foundation has promoted arts’ history publications, also as co-editor:
Studi normanni e federiciani, edited by A. Giuliano, Roma 2003;
Antike Porphyrwerke by R. Delbrueck, Roma 2007;
L’Aventino dal Rinascimento a oggi, edited by M. Bevilacqua and D. Gallavotti Cavallero, Roma 2010;
Studi di glittica, edited by D. Del Bufalo, A. Giuliano, U. Pannuti and L. Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli, Roma 2009;
Catalogo illustrato della glittica nella collezione Santarelli, edited by D. Del Bufalo, Roma 2009;
La glittica Santarelli ai Musei Capitolini. Intagli, cammei e sigilli, edited by A. Gallottini, with R. Gennaioli, M. Ramazzotti, L. Sist, M.L. Ubaldelli and P. Vitellozzi, Roma 2012;
Sculture dalle collezioni Santarelli e Zeri, edited by A.G. De Marchi, Milano 2012;
Una dimora nobilitata da Canova, Poniatowski e Thorvaldsen: Villa Lontana, by A. Campitelli, S. Ceccarelli, L. Godart, G.L. Gregori, F. and G. Ortolani, A. Paolucci, and D. Rossi, Torino 2013;
Le sculture antiche della Fondazione Dino ed Ernesta Santarelli, 1. Ritratti e rilievi, by M.
Amatrice. Storia, arte e cultura edited by A. Viscogliosi, 2016.
Also the Foundation has given several works of art on loan for many exhibitions and looks forward to more future loans, firmly believing in these events as a way of cultural promotion and knowledge of ancient art, while preserving and respecting the artworks.
A list of exhibitions:
2002 - September 28th - 2003 January 19th: I marmi colorati della Roma Imperiale, Rome, Mercati di Traiano;
2003 - March 7th - June 29th: Maestà di Roma da Napoleone all’Unità d’Italia, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale;
2005 - February 26th - June 26th: Il male. Esercizi di pittura crudele, Turin, Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi;
2008 - July 11th - November 9th: La lupa e la Sfinge. Roma e l’Egitto dalla storia al mito, Rome, Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo;
2008- April 20th - September 7th: Exempla, la rinascita dell’antico nell’arte italiana. Da
Federico II ad Andrea Pisano, Rimini, Castel Sismondo;
2009 March 20th - April 25th: I Sabini popolo d’Italia. Dalla storia al mito, Rome, Vittoriano;
2009 - June 15th - October 11th: Glanz der Kentauren, Munich, Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek;
2010 June 16th - September 5th: Le forme del Rinascimento. Donatello, Andrea Bregno, Michelangelo e la scultura a Roma nel Quattrocento, Rome, Palazzo di Venezia;
2010 - November 30th - 2011 March 6th : Roma e l’Antico. Realtà e visione nel ‘700, Rome, Palazzo Sciarra;
2011 - March 10th – September 25th: Il volto dei Potenti, Rome, Musei Capitolini;
2011 - May 20th-22th Festival Poiesis, Fratelli d’Italia, Fabriano, Spedale Santa Maria del Buon Gesù;
2012 - February 8th - 2022 February 8th: La glittica Santarelli ai Musei Capitolini, Rome, Musei Capitolini;
2012 - April 14th - July 1st: Sculture dalle collezioni Santarelli e Zeri, Rome, Palazzo Sciarra;
2013 - April 14th - September 10th: Gems of the Medici, Santa Ana, Orange County, Los Angeles, Bowers Museum.
2013 - July 20th - September 25th: Capolavori del Rinascimento, Brazil, São Paulo,
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.
2013 - September 20th - 2014 January 19th: Cleopatra e l’incantesimo dell’Egitto, Rome, Chiostro del Bramante.
2013 - October 12th - 2014 January 5th: Capolavori del Rinascimento, Brazil, Brasilia,
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.
2013 - October 15th-November 17th: Verso il 2015. La cultura del vino in Italia Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano.
2013 - October 17th – 2014 February 9th: Augusto, Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale.
2013 - October 31th-2014 March 2th: Antoniazzo Romano pictor Urbis, Rome, Palazzo Barberini.
2014 - March 5 th -11 th : Roma 1914, Rome, Mercati di Traiano.
2014 - April 10 th - September 7 th: Le Mythe Cléopâtre, Paris, Pinacothèque de Paris.
2014 - April 24 th – September 7 th: Regere populos. Augusto e l’arte del comando, Rome, Museo dell’Ara Pacis.
2014 - May 26 th – September 14 th: Michelangelo. Difficoltà e voli di un artista universale, Rome, Musei Capitolini.
2014 - June 4 th – November 30 th: Roma Eterna. 2000 Jahre Skulptur aus den Sammlungen Santarelli und Zeri, Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig.
2014 - June 19 th – August 31 th: Siria. Splendore e dramma Rome, Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia.
2015 - January 28 th - October 4th: L’età dell’angoscia. Da Commodo a Diocleziano, Rome, Musei Capitolini.
2015 - April 21th-27th: La Colonna Traiana nei disegni di Vincenzo Camuccini, Rome, Palazzo Valentini;
2015 -May 29th – October 11th: Mith of Cleopatra, Singapore, Fort Canning Park;
2015 – October 31th – 2016 January 31th: Roma eterna. Capolavori di scultura classica. La collezione Santarelli, Mendrisio, CH, Museo d’Arte;
2015 – November 30th – 2016 May 8th: Cleopatra. L’incantesimo d’Egitto, Madrid, Centro de Arte Canal;
2016 – April 21th- August 14th: Sicily: Culture and Conquest, London, British Museum;
2016 – December - 2018 December: Museo del gioiello, Vicenza, Basilica Palladiana;
2017 - November 16th - 2018 February 11th: Rinascite. Opere d'arte salvate dal sisma di Amatrice e Accumoli, Rome, Museo delle Terme di Diocleziano;
2018 - June 22th-23th Amatrice e il suo territorio, Rome, Società Geografica Italiana Onlus, Palazzetto Mattei in Villa Celimontana;
2018 - June 26th – October 7th: A cavallo del tempo, l’arte di cavalcare dall’Antichità al Medioevo, Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Limonaia del giardino di Boboli;
2018 - September 13th - 2019 May 19th, Ercole e il suo mito, Turin, Reggia di Venaria;
2018 - October 18th -2019 May 21th, Cani in posa, Turin, Reggia di Venaria;
2019 – April 15th – July 14th, Leonardo da Vinci. Disegnare il futuro, Turin, Musei Reali;
2019 – June 3th – October 15th, Roma Aeterna, Opere dalla Fondazione Dino ed Ernesta Santarelli, Ljubljana, Narodni muzej Slovenije;
2019 - June 18th – October 6th, Costruire un capolavoro: la Colonna Traiana, Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Limonaia del giardino di Boboli;
2019 – October 16th – 2020 March, O della materia spirituale dell’arte, Rome, MAXXI;
2019 – December 10th – 2020 February 29th, Roma Aeterna, Opere dalla Fondazione Dino ed Ernesta Santarelli, Tblisi, Georgian National Museum;
2020 – January 13th – February 23th, Castrum Superius. Il palazzo dei re normanni, Palermo, Palazzo Reale;
2020 1th July – 11th September, Roma Aeterna, Opere dalla Fondazione Dino ed Ernesta Santarelli, Novi Sad, City Museum;
2021 – 8th February – 13th June, Savinio. Incanto e mito, Rome, Palazzo Altemps.
In 2020 the Foundation will be at the following exhibitions: Hercules-Immortal Hero, Heidelberg, Kurpfälzisches Museum der Stadt Heidelberg (March 25th – July 12th); L'Art à Rome al XVIIIe siècle. 1700-1758, Ajaccio, Palais Fesch - musée des Beaux-Arts (June 26th – October 5th).
With the collaboration of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foundation will hold the Roma Aeterna exhibition, characterised by a continuous evolution and changes of works, and will be exhibited in Novi Sad, City Museum (March-May 2020), in Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (June-September 2020) e subsequently in Uruguay at Montevideo and Seoul. In 2022 the Roma Aeterna exhibition, as a symbol of artistic history of Rome through the centuries, will be brought to the main cities of Northern Europe with more of the Foundation’s fundamental works.
During 2012 the Foundation has developed the following important initiatives: on February the 8th the glyptic collection was made public, through a ten-years free concession loan to the Capitoline Museums in Rome, the oldest museum in the world.
The Glyptic collection with its 600 pieces through five millennia is one of the largest in the world, including cameos, carvings and seals, and spans more than four thousand years of history, including specimens from ancient Egypt, the Near East, from the Greek-roman world, from the Middle age and from Modern Europe.
The Glyptic collection also includes original masterpieces and other artworks of historical evidence as ancient pieces from daily life.
From April to July, the Foundation has performed the exhibition “Sculture dalle collezioni Santarelli e Zeri” with Fondazione Roma Museo, the major and most active art and human assistance organization in Italy, based in Palazzo Sciarra in Rome.
At the end of 2013 the foundation carried out the publication of the volume of studies “Una dimora romana nobilitata da Poniatowski, Canova e Thorvaldsen. Villa Lontana” including essays on the unpublished site of Villa Lontana, in the area of Ponte Milvio in Rome, starting from the Roman era to the recent restoration of the ancient ”Villa”, with special attention for the very relevant season from the 17th to the 18th century.
In 2014 The Foundation presented with Fondazione Roma Museo the Roma Eterna. 2000 Jahre Skulptur aus den Sammlungen Santarelli und Zeri exhibition in Basel, at Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig.
Another activity in course of definition is a five years concession loan to the “domus of Palazzo Valentini” in Rome, close to the ”Colonna Traiana”, of the important volume collecting sixty original drawings by the neoclassic painter Vincenzo Camuccini, representing the decorative scenes of the “Colonna Traiana”.
The artworks, executed between the 18th and the 19th century, will be exposed in the new section of the Palazzo, between the “Tempio di Traiano” and the “Colonna Traiana“.
The Foundation also participates in many cultural associations as FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano), Civita, ARPAI (Associazione per il Restauro del Patrimonio Artistico Italiano), ADSI (Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane), Musica per Roma, Messaggeri della Pace, and in other educational and humanitarian organizations.
In 2019 the volume Amatrice con gli occhi di prima, curated by F. di Napoli Rampolla was published and a fruitful collaboration with Mibact (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage) was consolidated, giving birth also to the publication of the volume La chiesa di San Francesco ad Amatrice in 2021, the first monographic study dedicated entirely to the fallen historic building, also aimed at raising funds to help its reconstruction.
In 2021 the Foundation will publish the book Amatrice 2.0, curated by Alessandro Viscogliosi, where the results of years of urbanistic research on the Amatrice town in the Lazio area will find their place. This publication accompanies the construction of the monumental model (10x6 m) that represents the town in the early twentieth century, which will serve as a basis for the reconstruction of the town after the destructive earthquake of 2016. The book will focus on the years of research on the Lazio town from an urbanistic point of view; it will also contain innovative pre and post earthquake representations to be viewed in 3D or with the aid of the Oculus Virtual Reality.
Also within the year, the first of five volumes dedicated to Federico Zeri's epistolaries will see the light. In particular, the volume will deal with the correspondence of the scholar with Roberto Longhi. This series is directed by Professor Mauro Natale.
Regarding the theme of the comparison between contemporary art and the Foundation's vast collection ancient art, the catalogs of the exhibitions curated by Jo Melvin and Vittoria Bonifati: Sculpture-Sculptureless, Archeology (2018), Machismo (2019), Memory games (2020) and Painting Stone (2021) have been published.