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Born Nov. 1, 1757, in Possagno, Veneto region; died Oct. 13, 1822, in Venice. Italian neoclassical sculptor.
Canova studied in Venice (1768–74) under the sculptor Toretti. He worked primarily in Venice and Rome. His early works followed the traditions of baroque art, but he subsequently embarked on formal imitation of classical sculpture.
His effective tombs (of Clement XIII, 1792, St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome), statues of mythological heroes (Cupid and Psyche, 1793 version, Louvre, Paris; 1800 version, Hermitage, Leningrad), and idealized portraits (Pauline Borghese as Venus Victrix, 1805–07, Borghese Gallery, Rome) combine serene composition, clarity, and elegant proportions with cold abstract images, features of saccharine sentimentality and salon pretti-ness, and the lifeless smoothness of polished marble. Canova’s work served as a model for 19th-century European academic sculpture.
REFERENCESKosareva, N. K. Kanova i ego proizvedeniia v Ermitazhe, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1963.
Coletti, L., ed. Mostra Canoviana (Catalog). Treviso, 1957.