Gustav III’s Collection of Antiquities

The aim of the project is to document, analyse and publish the ancient sculpture collected or inherited by Gustav III.

This collection constitutes an important part in the original core of the Nationalmuseum. Acquired at the end of the 18th century, the views on restoration that it expresses soon contributed to make the collection unmodern. It has never been the object of exhaustive study.
A first volume in a projected series of three, appeared in 1998: A-M. Leander Touati, Ancient sculptures in the Royal Museum. The eighteenth-century collection in Stockholm, vol. I, 1998.
Among the 180 objects that remains to be published, about 150 were bought from Francesco Piranesi in Rome and represent the remaining part of his father’s, Giovanni Battista’s marble business. Another 33 pieces stem from earlier Swedish Royal collecting, mainly that of Queen Christina and Queen Lovisa Ulrika. The objects cover a wide spectrum of ancient Roman genres: decorated architectural fragments, funerary alters, sarcophagi, urns, wellheads, candelabra, portrait busts as well as small and full sized sculpture in the round. The pieces are studied in the light of their contribution to Roman art history as well as in that of the early Modern period.
A further aim of the project is to initiate European cooperation and to secure Swedish competence in the field of ancient sculpture and its reception.

Professor Anne-Marie Leander Touati, Stockholm University, is head of the project.

Picture: Gustav III´s Collection of Antiquities, interior, The Royal Palace.

Gustav III´s Collection of Antiquities, interior, The Royal Palace.


Art Library and Museum Archives,
Holmamiralens väg 2,
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm 

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