Museo di Roma
This museum, dedicated to the history of the city of Rome, is located in Palazzo Braschi in Piazza San Pantaleo. The museum owns at least three paintings of Jacobite interest.
There is an oil painting of the funeral of Queen Clementina (wife of King James III and VIII). 1 The painting, by an unknown artist, measures 135.5 cm high and 98 cm wide. 2 The museum purchased the painting June 20, 1967, from the Roman art dealer "L'Antonina".
The painting shows the interior of the Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli as decorated for Clementina's funeral, January 23, 1735: Clemetina's body lies on a raised bier surrounded by candelabras; high above the bier hangs an immense crown from which great swags of fabric are draped; the arms of Clementina and of James are displayed at the top of the arches between the nave and the side aisle; there are a number of onlookers in the foreground including a cardinal (in red), several priests (probably Dominicans in white), and various ladies and gentlemen. The painting bears a general resemblance to an engraving by Baldassare Gabbuggiani 3 after a design by Giovanni Paolo Panini. 4 There are several other related engravings by Rocco Pozzi and Giovanni Girolamo Frezza. 5
There is an oil painting of the welcome of Pope Pius VII at Palazzo Colonna by King Charles Emanuel IV of Sardinia (later King Charles IV) and his wife Queen Clotilde in 1800 or 1801. 6 The painting, by an unknown artist, measures 128.4 cm high and 92 cm wide. The painting was donated to the museum in 1969 by King Umberto II of Italy who had purchased it in the 1931 sale by Prince Girolamo Rospigliosi. 7
The painting shows the arrival of Pope Pius VII at the main entrance of the Palazzo Colonna in the northern corner of the first courtyard; as with many such paintings the architectural details appear much larger than in reality. At the centre of the painting can be seen Pius VII (in white cassock and red mozetta) extending his hand towards a kneeling Queen Clotilde. Clotilde wears a blue dress and a white linen cap. To the left of the pope can be seen King Charles Emanuel, and behind him Prince Filippo Colonna, and several other gentlemen. To the right of Queen Clotilde can be seen Princess Caterina of Savoy-Carignan (wife of Prince Filippo Colonna) and several other ladies. In the foreground and background are several clerics, men-at-arms, and other servants. 8
There is a painting of the baptism by Pope Pius VII at Palazzo Colonna of Princess Maria Teresa and Princess Maria Anna, the twin daughters of King Victor Emanuel I of Sardinia (later King Victor), September 20, 1803. The painting, by an unknown artist, measures 126 cm high and 90 cm wide. The painting was donated to the museum in 1969 by King Umberto II of Italy who had purchased it in the 1931 sale by Prince Girolamo Rospigliosi. 9 There is a similar painting of the same subject which is still in the collection of Prince Colonna at Palazzo Colonna today.
The painting shows a make-shift chapel which was created for the occasion of the baptism in the Galleria Nuova of the palace (the wing along Via della Pilotta). 10 In front of an altar with six candles stands the pope wearing a cope and mitre. To the right of the altar stands Charles Emanuel, Princess Caterina of Savoy-Carignan (wife of Prince Filippo Colonna), and her three daughters. 11 To the left of the altar stands Prince Charles Felix of Savoy (younger brother of Charles Emanuel and Victor Emanuel) and Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy (later Queen Mary III and II); Charles Felix and Maria Beatrice were proxies for the godparents who were not present at the ceremony, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este and his wife Princess Maria Beatrice of Este (grandparents of the twins, and parents of Maria Teresa, wife of Victor Emanuel). At the top of the painting is a medallion with a portrait identifed as Maria Teresa. 12
None of these three paintings is normally on display in the museum. In order to see them, it is necessary to contact the administration and make special arrangements before visiting.
Website: http://www.museodiroma.comune.roma.it; telephone: 39.06.67108312.
1 Andrea Busiri Vici, "Un Dipinto dei Funeri di Clementina Sobieska Stuart nel Museo di Palazzo Braschi", Bollettino dei Musei Communali di Roma 15 (1968): 7-18.
2 These are the measurements given by the Museo di Roma. Vici says that the painting measures 135 cm high and 93 cm wide.
3 Gabbuggiani flourished around 1750. He is best known for his engravings of Florentine buildings.
4 Panini was born in Piacenza in 1691, and died in Rome in 1765. He is best known as a painter of vedute (views), among which are paintings of several royal events.
5 Museo di Roma database, http://www.museodiroma.comune.roma.it.
6 Pope Pius VII visited Charles Emanuel and Clotilde at Palazzo Colonna three times: October 21, 1800; March 30, 1801; and May 18, 1801. It has been suggested that the painting represents the third visit, May 18, 1801, five days after the death of Charles Emanuel's aunt, Princess Felicita of Savoy, and that this explains the dark colour of Charles Emanuel's clothing.
7 Museo di Roma database, http://www.museodiroma.comune.roma.it. Cf. Catalogo della Vendita all'asta della collezione ... del Principe Don Gerolamo Rospigliosi ... dal 28 aprile al 5 maggio 1931, reprinted in Angela Negro, Paessagio e figura: nuove ricerche sulla Collezione Rospigliosi (Rome: Campisano, 2000), 109.
8 On the back of the painting is an inscription in Italian: "The Constable Filippo Colonna and his wife Caterina of Savoy Carignan, together with their daughters (among whom is Margheriat Rospigliosi Gioieni, accompanied by her husband Giulio Cesare Rospigliosi), receive at the foot of the main staircase of the Palazzo Colonna in Rome, the Supreme Pontiff Pius VII, who has come to the said palace in order to undertake the ceremony of baptism of the two twin princesses of Savoy, Maria Teresa, who was later Duchess of Parma, and Maria Anna, later Empress of Austria, daughters of Victor Emanuel I and of Maria Teresa of Modena, King and Queen of Sardinia, 1803". It is clear from the titles given to the twin princesses that the inscription was not written until at least 1831. In spite of the inscription, it is absolutely certain that the kneeling lady is Clotilde (who died in 1802); she wears the blue dress and white folded linen cap which she invariably wore as a sign of penance from 1794 until her death. Cf. François-Charles Uginet, "Portrait d'une reine: Un tableau de Bernardino Nocchi à l'abbaye de Hautecombe (Savoie)", Alla signorina: mélanges offerts à Noëlle de La Blanchardière. Collection de l'École française de Rome, 204. Rome: École française de Rome, 1995.
9 Cf. Catalogo della Vendita all'asta della collezione ... del Principe Don Gerolamo Rospigliosi ... dal 28 aprile al 5 maggio 1931, reprinted in Negro, 110.
10 The ceremony is described in detail in a manuscript in the Colonna family archives (Arch. Colonna, Miscell. II, A, 18, n.22) which has been printed in Fabrizio Colonna, La Dimora dei Reali di Savoia nel Palazzo Colonna, 1800-1804 (Rome: Tipografia del Senato, 1922), 29-35.
11 The eldest of these three daughters, Margherita, married Prince Giulio Cesare Rospigliosi; they were the grandparents of Prince Girolamo Rospigliosi who sold the painting in 1931.
12 Catalogo della Vendita all'asta della collezione ... del Principe Don Gerolamo Rospigliosi ... dal 28 aprile al 5 maggio 1931, reprinted in Negro, 110.
Image 1 (Funeral of Queen Clementina): Museo di Roma database, http://www.museodiroma.comune.roma.it.
Image 2 (Queen Clotilde greets Pope Pius VII): Museo di Roma database, http://www.museodiroma.comune.roma.it.
Image 3 (Baptism of Princess Maria Teresa and Princess Maria Anna): Eduard A. Safarik, Palazzo Colonna (Rome: Edizioni di Luca, 1999), 130.