Naples National Archaeological Museum  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Secret Museum, Naples

The Naples National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) is located in Naples, Italy, at the northwest corner of the original Greek wall of the city of Neapolis. The museum contains a large collection of Roman artifacts from the excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae, as well as the Farnese collection. The collection includes works of the highest quality produced in Greek, Roman and Renaissance times and is famous for its Gabinetto Segreto.




The museum hosts extensive collections of Greek and Roman antiquities. Their core is from the Farnese Collection and the finds of the rediscovery of Pompeii.


Charles III of Spain founded the museum in the 1750s. The building he used for it had been erected as a cavalry barracks and during its time as the seat of the University of Naples (from 1616 to 1777) was extended, in the late 1700s.


Among the notable works found in the museum are:


Farnese marbles

The greater part of the museum's classical sculpture collection largely comes from the Farnese Marbles, important since they include Roman copies of classical Greek sculpture, which are in many cases the only surviving indications of what the lost works by ancient Greek sculptors such as Calamis, Kritios and Nesiotes. Many of these works, especially the larger ones, have been moved to the Museo di Capodimonte for display in recent years.

Bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri

Villa of the Papyri


The museum's Mosaic Collection includes a number of important mosaics recovered from the ruins of Pompeii and the other Vesuvian cities.

Egyptian Collection

The museum has the third largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Italy, after the Vatican Museum and the Museo Egizio in Turin. It is made up primarily of works from two private collections, assembled by Cardinal Borgia in the second half of the 18th century, and Picchianti in the first years of the 19th. In the recent rearrangement of the galleries the two nuclei have been exhibited separately, while in the connecting room other items are on display, including Egyptian and "pseudo-Egyptian" artefacts from Pompeii and other Campanian sites. In its new layout the collection provides both an important record of Egyptian civilization from the Old Kingdom (2700-2200 B.C.) up to the Ptolemaic-Roman era.[1]

Secret Cabinet

  • The Secret Cabinet, a separately housed collection of erotic Roman art.
  • The Placentarius, the small bronze statue represents a distinctly ithyphallic old nude man who, on the palm of his hand, holds a little silver tray.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Naples National Archaeological Museum" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools