Ettore Roesler Franz's Rome

Il Porto di Ripetta verso Ponente, 1880 - Acquerello su carta
Between the fascination for the picturesque and photographic memory
17/12/2014 - 13/09/2015
Museo di Roma in Trastevere

The late nineteenth century atmosphere in Rome revives through the 40 watercolours of the series "Roma pittoresca. Memoria di un’era che passa", exhibited alongside 48 period photographs. A touch-screen monitor will show the entire series of watercolours depicting an almost forgotten Rome.


The series of 120 watercolours, here there is a selection of forty specimens, was painted over the course of 20 years, from 1876 to 1896, and it documents the city before the sweeping urbanistic and architectural changes that commenced immediately after 1870.
 The Municipality of Rome (Mayor Leopoldo Torlonia) made an initial purchase of 40 works in April 1883. In 1908, following several proposals made in 1897, 1902 and 1904, the Municipality purchased the second and third series with the aim of establishing the Museo Topografico at the Palazzo degli Anguillara. After various vicissitudes, that has seen the paintings separated and placed in several different museums, the series, some years ago, was finally united at the Museum of Rome in Trastevere. However numerous watercolours still show evident traces of oxidation as a result of previous inadequate exhibition conditions.
 Nevertheless, seeing the particular condition of these delicate paintings that prevents a prolonged exposure of the entire series, the Direction of the Museum has put together an extraordinary exhibition that offers two different ways of enjoying the show, the visitor can see live a careful selection of the artworks and he can discover, virtually, the entire collection thanks to multimedia technologies. Amongst the watercolours present in the show some have not been exhibited for decades (The Port of Ripetta facing west, The Port of Ripetta facing east, Piazza Barberini), their unquestionable documentational value has motivated the need to insert them in the exhibition, following very strict preservation criteria, therefore giving us a further possibility to admire them. The exhibition is also showing about forty fi ve vintage photographs, dating to those years, belonging to the Photographic Archives of the Museum of Rome, depicting the same places represented by Ettore Roesler Franz. The comparison between the paintings that
 make us think back to a “disappared Rome”, a picturesque and romantic atmosphere, and the contemporary photographic images, offers visitors an additional tool to closely examine the Capital and its historic memory. For the first time visitors can see the entire series with a multimedia installation: a touch screen, produced by the Museum for the occasion and they can also see the reproduction of an old map of Rome, where locations depicted in the watercolors are marked.  These devices make it possible to virtually travel the many routes and scenarios loved by the Roman watercolourist.

A special volume in Italian and English has been published by Palombi featuring the 120 watercolours gathered together for the first time in about 30 years, with critical essays by the curators and summaries of the works by Amarilli Marcovecchio and Elena Paloscia.


Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Opening hours

Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00-20.00;
 Last admission 1 hour before closing time;
Closed: Monday, 25 December, 1 January, 1 May.

Entrance ticket

Free admission to residents in Rome on the first Sunday of the month

Adults: € 6,00;
Concessions: € 5,00;
Roman Citizens only (by showing a valid ID):
- Adults: € 5,00;
- Concessions: € 4,00;

Free of charge and Concessions: conditions

Every first Sunday of the month, free admission for all residents in Rome (upon showing a valid ID).


Online purchase



Tel. +39 060608 (every day from 9:00 to 21:00; except December 24 and 31 from 9:00 to 17:00; 25 December and 1 January from 11:00 to 18:00).

Other information

Promoted by: Roma Capitale Assessorato alla Cultura, Creatività e Promozione Artistica - Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali

Web site
Zètema Progetto Cultura Sponsors: Banche Tesoriere del Comune di Roma: BNL – Gruppo BNP Paribas, UniCredit Banca di Roma, Monte dei Paschi di Siena; MasterCard Priceless Rome; Vodafone
With technical contributions from

La Repubblica; ATAC

Silvana Bonfili

Press Room

Museo di Roma in Trastevere
02/12/2014 - 31/05/2015
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Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all
Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all
Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all
Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all
Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all
Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all
Museo di Roma in Trastevere
Educational resources for all

Eventi correlati

Currently there are no ongoing activities.
There are no planned activities.
Musei in Comune
26/12/2014 - 06/01/2015