The origin of the Capitoline Museums dates back to the donation of the Lateran Bronzes by Pope Sixtus the Fifth in 1471 to the Roman People. Other ancient findings coming from urban excavations and in the second half of the sixteenth century a group of sculptures donated by Pious the Fifth were added. After the Albani collection was also acquired, Pope Clement the Twelfth opened the Museums to the public in 1734. The picture-gallery was created in 1750. Other archaeological findings were added after the excavations performed at the end of the past century.
Currently the museum spaces include:
New Palace – It keeps the collections of ancient marble and bronze sculptures, including the busts of Roman philosophers and emperors and famous statues, such as the Dying Galatian, the Esquiline Venus, Marforius, and Marcus Aurelius, the group of statues of the temple of Apollo Sosianus (fifth century BC). The Greek and Etruscan vases from the Castellani collection and an epigraphic collection are also exhibited.
Palazzo dei Conservatori-Clementino – The apartments of the Palace of Conservatives – Clementine are decorated with important cycles of frescos (sixteenth-seventeenth century) relative to the ancient history of Rome. Important bronze sculptures of the ancient art (the Spinario, the Capitoline She-wolf,he Capitoline Brutus, and the Colossal head of Constantine) and baroque art (the statue of Urban the Eighth and the Head of Medusa by Bernini, the statue of Innocent the Tenth by Algardi). Important eighteenth century tapestries of Roman manufacture are exhibited in the Throne Room. Instead the picture-gallery exhibits fourteenth-eighteenth century paintings, such as the Good Luck and Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio; the Baptism of Christ by Titian; the Finding of Romulus and Remus by Rubens; the Rape of the Sabine Women and the Triumph of Bacchus by Pietro DaCortona. There is also a remarkable collection of eighteenth- nineteenth century porcelains.
Palazzo Caffarelli – This space is dedicated to temporary exhibitions.