Hall of the Muses

This Hall, opened to the public in 1784, was intended for the display of a series of sculptures which had been found in the so-called Villa of Cassius near Tivoli, and which included many statues of the Muses, an Apollo as holding the lyre, an Athena, herms and portraits of famous Greek men, all dating from the time of the Emperor Hadrian.
The statues were greatly modified by 18th century restorers: some of them did not originally depict muses and were modified in order to complete the full number of nine personifications of the arts. The frescoes by Tommaso Conca on the vaulted ceiling represent Apollo and the Muses as the inspirers of the arts. In the 1800s the Pompeian red paint was used to cover landscapes which had previously provided backgrounds for the various statues.