Room XX. Astarita Collection. Greek and Etruscan ceramics

This room conserves a fresco frieze by Orlando Parentini (Atlas, Banquet offered by Saul to Samuel, Banquet of Thyestes and allegorical figures), part of the original decoration dating back to the papacy of Pius IV de' Medici (1559-1565).
It is entirely dedicated to the Astarita Collection, a valuable collection of Greek and Etruscan ceramics assembled by a scholarly connoisseur, Mario Astarita, who donated it to Pope Paul VI in 1967.
Sir John Beazley, the Oxford scholar known for his monumental classification of Attic ceramics, named a refined painter of kylikes from the late Archaic age the "Mario Painter", in honour of his collector friend.
The collection includes Etruscan ceramics from the late Orientalising and Archaic periods (630-490 B.C.). Greek ceramics of Corinthian, Greek-Oriental, Laconic and Euboic production are also present (625-550 B.C.). Among these, the late Corinthian krater by the Astarita Painter is of particular interest.
From a quantitative point of view, Attic ceramics are certainly the best represented. The Collection encompasses the first black figures of 570-550 B.C. to the first practitioners of red-figure techniques, such as Oltos who also painted “bilinguals” (520-500 B.C.), the late Archaic masters and the severe style (until 470 B.C.), as well as the classical and late classical phases (450-425 B.C.), up to the most recent vessels dating from around 350 B.C.