The two main sculptural groups dedicated to the myth of Niobe will be together for the first time in the Uffizi: from 14 November to 12 March 2023. The slaying of the children of the tragic protagonist of the mythological tale is represented by the thirteen famous statues from the Roman era that are today conserved in the room of the same name in the Gallery. They are joined by nine others from a sculptural group recently discovered in Ciampino.
The Niobids in the Medici collection stage one of the most tragic stories of ancient Greek myth, namely the murder of Niobe's twelve children at the behest of the goddess Latona, offended by Niobe's pride in her offspring. The thirteen statues were found in early 1583 within the Aurelian walls (precisely in the vineyard of Gabriele and Tomaso Tommasini) and only transferred to Florence in 1770. Now the Florentine Niobids will be confronted with the other sculptural group, currently preserved in the Sanctuary of Hercules the Victor in Tivoli, an architectural complex that is part of the museum complex Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este.
The nine sculptures were found in 2012 in a large pool next to the thermal baths of an ancient villa on the outskirts of Rome, partly fragmented, but once again recomposing the suggestive myth of Niobe. The comparison between the two groups is also the subject of a virtual exhibition in the 'Hypervisions' section of the website ww.uffizi.it.