The group of Niobid sculptures recently discovered in Roman baths in Ciampino, near Rome, will be displayed in the Uffizi Galleries along the 13 well-known statues belonging to the Medici collection.
Considered one of the most tragic Greek stories, the mythological tale tells the story of Niobe’s children who were slain by Apollo and Artemis. The 13 sculptures currently in the Uffizi were discovered in 1583 within the Aurelian walls of Rome before being moved to Florence in 1770. The statues will now be joined by the nine artefacts depicting the story of Niobe, which were discovered in 2012 near ancient baths beside a centuries-old villa on the outskirts of Rome. When the exhibition ends in March 2023, the Roman Niobids will return to the sanctuary of Hercules Victor in Tivoli, an architectural site that belongs to Istituto Villa Adrianna and Villa d’Este.
“For centuries, the Florentine Niobid statues were one of the main interests of the protagonists of the Grand Tour,” the director of the Uffizi Galleries, Eike Schmidt, notes. “The direct comparison between the sculptures recently discovered in Ciampino and those of the Medici will enable a better appreciation of their affinities and discontinuities, while at the same time allowing more light to be shed on the prototypes on which they depend.”
Running until March 12, 2023, the exhibition is open to all. For those unable to visit the exhibition, a virtual show focusing on the two sculptural groups will be available shortly on the Uffizi’s website.