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The direct influence of Italian precedents can be found throughout the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, designed by John Russell Pope and opened to the public in 1941. The central Rotunda, the most important space in the structure, is modeled after the ancient Pantheon in Rome, echoing its balanced proportions and coffered plaster dome and oculus. A visit to the Gallery begins with begins with the Italian medieval and Renaissance paintings. With no fewer than two works by Giorgione, five by Raphael, many more by Titian, and the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere, the Galleryís holdings in this area are truly outstanding.
(Dancing satyr and maenad, 1st century BC - 1st century AD, marble, 21 x 67 cm (8 1/4 x 26 3/8 in.) , Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli)
Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples on the Web at www.nga.gov/exhibitions/pompeiiinfo.shtm: Luxurious works of art excavated from the opulent houses of the urban elite in Pompeii and from nearby imperial villas along the shoreline of the Bay of Naples illustrate the regionís importance as an artistic center in the first exhibition devoted to ancient Roman art at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibition will premiere in the nationís capital, October 19, 2008, through March 22, 2009, and travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May 3 through October 4, 2009.
The Restoring Ancient Stabiae (RAS) Project is one of the largest cultural and scientific collaborations between the United States and Italy to date. Its mission is to excavate, study and transform the 150-acre archaeological site of ancient Stabiae, featuring the largest and best-preserved group of seaside Roman villas ever discovered, into Europe's most innovative Archaeological Park. Located only 3 miles from Pompeii, the future Archaeological Park of Stabiae will be a cultural asset to humanity as well as a major agent for economic development in Italy's Region of Campania.
Between 2005 and 2008, a world-class exhibition on Stabiae and the RAS Project called In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite will tour eight cities across the United States. Featuring 72 ancient artworks and artifacts, including 25 original Roman frescoes, In Stabiano is a true testimonial of the rich heritage of Roman civilization and society. For more information, please visit www.stabiae.org.