An Ink Pot Belonging to Elisa Bonaparte Grand-Duchess of Tuscany: from Villa Reale of Marlia to the Museo Napoleonico in Rome

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: June 2013 - Project end date: June 2014
Project number: 2013-011
Beneficiary: Associazione Amici dei Musei di Roma Onlus

The Associazione Amici dei Musei di Roma was founded in 1948 on the initiative of a group of scholars, intellectuals and patrons Romans. During sixty years it has promoted renovations, including  the fountain by Giacomo della Porta in the square of the Pantheon, the base of Michelangelo’s Marcus Aurelius in Piazza del Campidoglio and The Sacrifice of Polyxena and The Rape of the Sabine Women by Pietro da Cortona at the Capitoline Museums; enhancement initiatives, such as the rearrangement in the Museo di Roma of the alcove from the demolished Palazzo Torlonia in Piazza Venezia; numerous purchases, including the Archives of the sculptor Pietro Tenerani (1789-1869) and the recent purchase of a sketch by Virginio Monti for the façade of San Gioacchino in Prati, donated to the Museo  di Roma and a sketch by Thomas Couture (1815-1879) donated to the Museo Napoleonico .

The Associazione Amici dei Musei di Roma, with the Nando Peretti Foundation's grant, bought an ink pot on Roman antiquities market belonged to Elisa Bonaparte (1777-1820), sister of Napoleon (1769-1821), Princess of Lucca and Piombino (1805) and then Grand Duchess of Tuscany. The ink pot comes from original furniture of the Villa Reale di Marlia near Lucca, acquired by Elisa in 1805, when she became Princess of Lucca and Piombino. The work was probably made by French cabinetmaker Jean-Baptiste Youf (1762-1838), invited in Lucca by the Princess. The ink pot will be donated to the Museo Napoleonico in Rome because it is an important complement to its art collections and may be known by a wide audience. Since its foundation, the Association promotes this kind of initiative by Statute.

The ink pot will be purchased by the seller and donated to the Museo Napoleonico after informing the direction and the Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale. The work will be immediately exhibited in the Museo.

The purchase of the ink pot will allow to exhibit, in a public Museum, an important work of art known to few until now because guarded in a private collection.

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