Canova, Antonio


Canova, Antonio
(1757–1822)
   Born in the province of Treviso, in the foothills of the Alps, Antonio Canova is the greatest genius of the neoclassicist movement in sculpture. He hailed from a family of stone masons. The patronage of a wealthy local family enabled Canova to pursue his studies at the academy for fine arts in Venice. In 1780, he produced Daedalus and Icarus, his first famous work.
   Canova was given a three-year scholarship by the Venetian authorities to study in Rome. He swiftly produced a series of masterpieces that compelled his contemporaries to regard him as being on a par with such great masters of the Italian tradition of monumental art as Bernini and Michelangelo. In 1787, he completed his monument to Pope Clement XIV, which established his reputation as one of the finest sculptors in Italy. In 1793, he produced Cupid and Psyche, a work that procured him the offer of becoming court sculptor in Saint Petersburg. Canova, however, chose to remain in Italy, although he traveled widely and was well-known throughout Europe. Canova produced many great works between 1798 and his death in 1822. His Perseus with the Head of Medusa (probably 1800) was placed, by papal decree, in a special room of the Vatican hitherto reserved for the finest works of the Renaissance. His best-known work, however, is probably The Three Graces, a depiction of the three daughters of Zeus, who are said to represent Joy, Charm, and Beauty. Two versions exist. The earliest version was sent to the court of the tsar and is still to be found in the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg. The second was commissioned in 1813 by the Duke of Bedford for his home at Woborn Abbey in England. The sculpture shows the three nudes clustered together, heads touching, enjoying a shared confidence in an atmosphere of slightly bashful eroticism. Canova was charged in 1815 with negotiating the return of art treasures looted by Napoleon during his conquest of the Italian peninsula. He carried out this delicate task with some skill and received as a reward the title of Marquis of Ischia and an annual pension of 3,000 crowns. Canova spent much of his by now considerable wealth on his own tomb in his native village of Possengo. He died in Venice in October 1822.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Canova, Antonio — • Italian sculptor (1757 1822) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Canova, Antonio — born , Nov. 1, 1757, Possagno, Republic of Venice died Oct. 13, 1822, Venice Italian sculptor. Apprenticed to a sculptor at an early age, he opened his own studio in Venice by 1775. In 1778–79 he produced his first important sculpture, Daedalus… …   Universalium

  • Canova, Antonio — (11/1/1757 Possagno 10/13/1822 Venice) (Italy)    Sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and architect. Trained in Venice under G. Bernardi and G Ferrari. A leading Neo Classical sculptor, his female figures were considered quite erotic in their time.… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Canova, Antonio — ► (1757 1822) Escultor italiano, representante del neoclasicismo. Entre sus primeras obras destacan Eurídice y Orfeo (1773) y Dédalo e Ícaro (1778). Etapa de madurez (1779), con obras como Teseo y el Minotauro (1782), Amor y Psique (1792) y Los… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Canova,Antonio — Ca·no·va (kə nōʹvə), Antonio. 1757 1822. Italian sculptor who was an important figure in the development of neoclassicism. * * * …   Universalium

  • CANOVA, ANTONIO —    a great Italian sculptor, born in Venetia; gave early proof of his genius; his first great work, and which established his fame, was the group of Theseus and the Minotaur, which was by and by succeeded by his Cupid and Psyche, distinguished by …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Canova, Antonio —  (1757–1822) Italian sculptor …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Canova, Antonio, marchese d'Ischia — ▪ Italian sculptor born , Nov. 1, 1757, Possagno, Republic of Venice died Oct. 13, 1822, Venice  Italian sculptor, one of the greatest exponents of Neoclassicism. Among his works are the tombs of popes Clement XIV (1783–87) and Clement XIII… …   Universalium

  • Canova — Canova, Antonio …   Enciclopedia Universal


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