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La Galleria Nazionale dArte Moderna e Contemporanea

Arti Doria Pamphilj Srl   Piazza razioli, 5, Roma (RM) - +39 06 6797323

Galleria Nazionale D'Arte Moderna  -
Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, Rome - +39 06 322981

Galleria Lorcan O'Neal Roma Srl   -
Via degli Orti d'Alibert, 1, Rome - +39 06 68892980

Press Releases - Story Shorts:
Sartorio's epic frieze on show in Lower House
Art: 'Italian People' restored
Sartorio's epic frieze on show in Lower House
 ROME (ANSA) - A belle epoque masterpiece representing the Italian people in the parliament's Lower House is now on show after a year-long restoration A selection of 50 of the massive panels that make up Giulio Aristide Sartorio's frieze will be on show at Palazzo Montecitorio until July 20. Usually the public can only admire the epic masterpiece, which spreads out around 102 metres to surround the House's debating chamber, from the visitors gallery.

But the frieze, entitled The Italian People, was taken down last year for restoration and parliament has decided to organize a special exhibition before putting it back.

Sartorio (1860-1932), who was a writer and film director as well as an artist, painted the frieze between 1908 and 1912. As part of his preparatory work, the Roman artist went to
London to study the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum and Andrea Mantegna's Triumphs of Caesar at Hampton Court.

Sartorio created a number of celebrated works, including Diana of
Ephesus and the Slaves and Gorgon and the Heroes (1895-99), both of which are housed at Rome's National Gallery of Modern Art.

But the Palazzo Montecitorio frieze, which features around 200 figures, is considered his masterpiece.

Its symbolism seeks to express the values of the Italian people and of the 19th-century Risorgimento movement that led to Italy's unification. Many of the nude or semi-nude figures strike dramatic poses that represent the toils and hardships the Italians had to endure on their path to national unity. The Lower House exhibition also presents a selection of the masses of preparatory sketches and photographs Sartorio produced to the public for the first time. A photographic reproduction of The Italian People is currently occupying the original's place in the House debating chamber. Palazzo Montecitorio was designed by the great Baroque sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 16th century, but it was finished by another renowned Italian architect of the time, Carlo Fontana.

It was the seat of the law courts during the Papal States' rule of central Italy.

Rome was annexed into the unified Italian state in 1870 to become its capital, the palace was chosen as headquarters of the House.
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