Cabinet of Masks

Cabinet of Masks

Between 1771 and 1772, the architect Alessandro Dori adapted one of the halls of the square tower of the small palace of Innocent VIII (1484-1492) for museum use. In 1780 the hall was completely restructured by Michelangelo Simonetti; the stucco decoration and the paintings are the work of Cristoforo Unterperger and Domenico De Angelis. The hall is named for the mosaics inserted in the centre of the floor which come from various parts of Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli. Amongst the sculptures on display there are several female subjects: a reproduction of the celebrated group of the Three Graces; a statue of a nympha, much admired by Goethe, and a series of statues of Aphrodite inspired by masterpieces of the ancient Greek art.