GladiatorsNational Archaeological Museum, Naples
The legend of the Gladiators is the inspiration behind the exhibition on show from 31 March 2021 to 6 January 2022 at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN), partnered by Intesa Sanpaolo.
Highlighting the gladiators’ more human aspects, their personal stories and function in society, the exhibition is the result of extensive international research.
Gladiatori at MANN charts a fascinating journey through history, with six separate sections at the museum’s Salone della Meridiana:
- from heroes’ funerals to duels for the dead;
- weapons of the Gladiators (the focal point of the exhibition with over fifty pieces, most of them from Pompei);
- from legendary hunts to venationes (the opening act in the gladiators’ spectacles);
- life as a Gladiator;
- the Amphitheatres of Campania (an addition to the previous “Gladiator” exhibition);
- gladiators everywhere (the lives of the Gladiators, from the domestic setting to art).
As well as the 160 historical artefacts on show, the Naples-based exhibition also includes a high-tech “seventh section” called Gladiatorimania, hosted in the Museum’s New Wing. Gladiatorimania is new to the exhibition seen at Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, widening the scope of the project with accessible content for visitors young and old and capturing the “person beneath the helmet”. The interactive itinerary covers seven stages, with an informative ending: training, the gladiators’ diet and food for the audiences, combat, weapons, armour and venues for the games, body care at the amphitheatre: costumes and injuries, the lives of the gladiators and gladiators at play.
Gladiatori is made possible with the support of the Campania Region, in synergy with the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum and in association with the Archaeological Park of Pompei. It concludes a research programme that has created exhibitions charting the great civilisations of the ancient world. The scientific project behind the exhibition was overseen by Valeria Sampaolo, former curator at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, and coordinated by Laura Forte, Exhibitions Manager at MANN and the MANN Photographic Archive.
The partnership with MANN confirms Intesa Sanpaolo’s support for the worlds of art and culture as part of Progetto Cultura, the Bank’s programme that nurtures Italy’s historic and artistic heritage by making a concrete contribution to the country’s civic and cultural development.