1Ancient sculptures

The ancient sculptures of the Mantova Benavides collection include works from classical greek and hellenistic periods as well as roman items. The presence of greek and hellenistic sculptures is a peculiarity of the venetian collections at that time because of the relationships between Venice and the east mediterranean area.

2Renaissance sculptures after the Antique

A peculiarity of the Mantova Benavides collection is the presence of many sculptures after the Antique, i.e. sculptures made in the manner of ancient greek and roman artists. These works imitate in all or in part the ancient statues and probably come mainly from workshops of artists of the sixteenth century. The sculptures were originally used as models for large-scale artistic creations as in the case of the frescoes of the “Sala dei Giganti” in Padua (1539-1541).

3Renaissance sculptures

The renaissance sculptures are for the most part models and casts. Some works are widely known as the cast of the “Head of Gattamelata” or the model of “Allegory of Wisdom”. Otherwise, there are many other sculptures equally important for the history of art in Padua during the Renaissance.

4Ancient vases

Among the ancient vessels, there are some Red-figured vases, mostly from Apulia. They testify that antiquities collectors payed early and great attention to these artifacts since the beginning of the sixteenth century. Nevertheless, in the collection there are also vessels from local findings, an evidence of the great antiquity of the collector’s homeland like the Biconic Vessel.

5Renaissance and after the Antique vases

Among the few vessels still preserved, two are have the shape of ancient pottery craters but there is also a glass amphora from Murano workshops.

6Studies on the original display of the collection

In the new catalogue of the Mantova Benavides collection (2013), the original display of the collection was also considered. These recent studies revealed that the collection was displayed in great, open book cases like the one still preserved at the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art.