The Sala della Biga in the Vatican Museums in Rome is named for the large marble sculpture group in the middle of the room. The room itself was built towards the end of the 18th century and is part of the Museo Pio Clementino.
Sala della Biga Vatican Museums Rome
History and description
The “Hall of the Chariot” was designed by Giuseppe Camporese towards the end of the 18th century. The room itself is lined with marble from Carrara.
A biga is a chariot pulled by two horses.
The biga dates back to the 1st century AD. The sculpture group assembled in 1788 by Francesco Antonio Franzoni using found Roman debris.
Franzoni (1734-1818) was himself from Carrara. He had opened a studio in Rome that specialized in restoring Roman statues. Since many excavations took place in those years, he had a lot of work.
The other statues
The statues in the niches are copies of Greek originals. The “Bearded Dionysos” from the circle of Praxiteles dates from the 1st century.
There are two discus throwers. The first one is a copy of the “Discobolo of Myron” dating from the 5th century BC. It was found in Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli outside Rome. The second athlete is copy of an approximately equally old “Discobolo of Naukydes”.