Anyway, little did I know that I was visiting the museum during a special exhibit - again, let me say how lucky I have been this weekend! The exhibit was (is) called "de Chirico e il Museo" (de Chirico and the museum) - all about the influence this museum had on de Chirico during his career, and how certain paintings by those whom he considered to be the masters of classical painting (Renoir, Ingres, Delacroix, Michaelangelo, and others) influenced his art. They actually had small pictures of the classical painters' originals next to de Chirico's, and even though in some cases, I'd call it downright copying, it was interesting to see his interpretations.
This painting was one of my favorites. It isn't a direct copy of any other painting, but is heavily influenced by Greco-Roman themes. Maybe it's just because Rome is so ancient and every square inch that is excavated produces some new reminder of what once existed here, but this archaeology thing is really getting to me! So here's de Chirico's painting "The Archaeologists":
I spent about two hours in the museum, and was more impressed with the de Chirico exhibit than the permanent collection, partly because he was someone I didn't know anything about, so it was interesting to learn! Then I spent what I'm sure was an equal amount of time in the museum gift store, drooling over all the Phaidon books of different artists, artistic movements, the array of journals, pens, postcards, stationary...I'm surprised I didn't walk out of there $2,000 in debt, but I guess it's times like these that I'm glad I don't have a credit card.