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Antonio Canova - Venus through the looking glass
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Antonio Canova - Venus and Fauno
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Antonio Canova -  Venus and Adonis
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Antonio Canova - Le Grazie
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Antonio Canova - Self-portrait
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Antonio Canova - Amorino Lubomirski
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Antonio Canova - Creugante
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Antonio Canova - Teseo winner on the Centaur
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Antonio Canova - Amore e Psiche
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Antonio Canova - Teseo sul Minotauro
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Antonio Canova - Danzatrice con le mani sui fianchi
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Antonio Canova - Danzatrice col dito al mento
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Antonio Canova - The surprise
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Antonio Canova - The Graces and Venus dance infront of Mars
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Antonio Canova - Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as the winning Venus
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Thomas Lawrence - Ritratto di Antonio Canova
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Antonio Canova - Cefalo e Procri
fullscreen
Antonio Canova - Venus and Mars
Antonio Canova - Venus through the looking glass
Antonio Canova - Venus and Fauno
Antonio Canova -  Venus and Adonis
Antonio Canova - Le Grazie
Antonio Canova - Self-portrait
Antonio Canova - Amorino Lubomirski
Antonio Canova - Creugante
Antonio Canova - Teseo winner on the Centaur
Antonio Canova - Amore e Psiche
Antonio Canova - Teseo sul Minotauro
Antonio Canova - Danzatrice con le mani sui fianchi
Antonio Canova - Danzatrice col dito al mento
Antonio Canova - The surprise
Antonio Canova - The Graces and Venus dance infront of Mars
Antonio Canova - Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as the winning Venus
Thomas Lawrence - Ritratto di Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova - Cefalo e Procri
Antonio Canova - Venus and Mars

Other works on display

Description

The sculptural group represents the contrasting and passionate love story between the god Eros and the beautiful, but earthly, Psyche. The two versions of Amore and Psiche stanti were commissioned to Antonio Canova just thirty years old by the Scottish colonel John Campbell. The first, sold to Gioacchino Murat, who transferred it to the Compiègne castle, is now located in the Louvre Museum. The second, sold by the client to Josèphine de Beauharnais, Napoleon's wife, was finally bought by Tsar Alexander I of Russia, who took her to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The work refers to the story contained in Apuleio's Asinus aureus. The fable represents the allegory of the soul who, eager to discover what is deliberately hidden from it, disobeys the prohibition of the gods, which force it to undergo a severe punishment and atone for guilt. The story offered numerous interpretations and inspiration for artists of all ages, especially during the neoclassical period. Although the work is based on the representation of two distinct subjects, also physically and technically they are made up as a single body, close to themselves and united by a posture that communicates complicity and deep intimacy. The couple of teenagers are in an upright position with their heads bowed, while the posture of the legs suggests that they are approaching each other. Young people have a very similar, little characterized face and the expression of both is serene and relaxed. The girl is perfectly frontal and vaguely covered only by a skirt; the artist found for her the possibility to reuse the pose already studied and happily found. He assumes an attitude of gentle innocence and supports the hand of Love, on which he gently rests a butterfly, holding it by the wings with his fingers. The little creature illustrates Canova's sensitivity in handling marble, and is a symbol of the soul that the girl gives to her beloved, but also a representation of the fragility and brevity of life. The expressive center of the whole composition is, in fact, the exquisitely fragile play of the hands that caress and protect it. Amore is naked, she runs her arm along the girl's neck and tenderly places her cheek on his shoulder. Cupid, as a boy or cupid, occurs many times in the Canovian production. There is no reference to where the subjects are, who embrace each other in a timeless place. The purity of the modeling, suggesting the formal ideality of the ancient sculptures, actually makes the work absolutely modern in concept and iconography. The beauty of the group gives off an almost incorporeal meaning for which admiring this embrace between the girl and the god devoid of the usual wings, cut by Venus, "the observer is moved not by their physical perfection, but by the spiritual feeling that the author he blew inside. "

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