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Antonio Canova - Venus with the mirror
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Antonio Canova - Venus with Faun
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Antonio Canova - Venus and Adonis
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Antonio Canova - The Graces
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Antonio Canova - Self portrait
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Antonio Canova - Cupid Lubomirski
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Antonio Canova - Creugante
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Antonio Canova - Theseus winner of the Centaur
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Antonio Canova - Love and Psyche
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Antonio Canova - Theseus on the Minotaur
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Antonio Canova - Dancer with hands on hips
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Antonio Canova - Dancer with her finger to her chin
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Antonio Canova - The surprise
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Antonio Canova - The Graces and Venus dance in front of Mars
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Antonio Canova - Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as the winning Venus
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Thomas Lawrence - Portrait of Antonio Canova
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Antonio Canova - Cephalus and Procris
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Antonio Canova - Venus and Mars
Antonio Canova - Venus with the mirror
Antonio Canova - Venus with Faun
Antonio Canova - Venus and Adonis
Antonio Canova - The Graces
Antonio Canova - Self portrait
Antonio Canova - Cupid Lubomirski
Antonio Canova - Creugante
Antonio Canova - Theseus winner of the Centaur
Antonio Canova - Love and Psyche
Antonio Canova - Theseus on the Minotaur
Antonio Canova - Dancer with hands on hips
Antonio Canova - Dancer with her finger to her chin
Antonio Canova - The surprise
Antonio Canova - The Graces and Venus dance in front of Mars
Antonio Canova - Paolina Borghese Bonaparte as the winning Venus
Thomas Lawrence - Portrait of Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova - Cephalus and Procris
Antonio Canova - Venus and Mars

Other works on display

Description

Theseus on the Minotaur is a sculptural work created by Antonio Canova between 1781 and 1783 and the marble version is currently exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Theseus is sitting on his opponent in an act of triumph: he is holding the club with which he knocked down the biform being. The Minotaur is outstretched and bloodless: he lies lifeless, in an unnatural pose. This is considered as the first work in which Canova wanted to associate the study of nature with the observations made in Rome on classical works; for the history of art it is a turning point. The change of style consists precisely in the synthesis of the beauty of nature with the ideal beauty, the key to neoclassicism. The comparison of this work with the last work of the Venetian period "Daedalus and Icarus" makes the change more effective: father and son are represented through a notable attention to expressive, real and human data. On the other hand, with Theseus and the Minotaur, the search for an idealized and perfect beauty worthy of a Greek hero stands out, which is achieved only thanks to Canova's studies on proportions and the human figure. In Theseus we recognize a “placid physiognomy, worthy of a hero who nobly takes pleasure in having won, which is of no great importance to him; the character of the Minotaur is in contrast to that of Theseus, and is in harmony with the whole of the work "TO CONTINUE THE SEARCH: Theseus, hero of Attica and son of the Athenian king Aegean, was famous for his sensitivity and his force. His father decided to test him from an early age, hiding his sandals and sword under a massive rock. Only when the boy was able to lift the stone block and take back his belongings could he go to Athens and become king of the city. At sixteen his mother took him to the appointed place and Theseus passed the test effortlessly and with pride. Once he took his father's place, however, he realized an unpleasant truth: every year his city was forced to deliver 14 young Athenians (7 boys and 7 girls) to the Minotaur. This monstrous beast was locked in a very complicated labyrinth created by Daedalus on the island of Crete and ate only on the bodies of poor people who had been ill. Theseus wanted to attempt the incredible feat of facing the Minotaur to free his homeland from the nightmare that oppressed it. So he prepared the expedition and trained with the heaviest weapons, but only thanks to the cunning of the Cretan princess Ariadne was he able to be successful. In fact, she taught him that, in order not to lose the right way back, it was enough to unroll a ball of thread along the way. Listening to his words, Theseus accomplished the fearsome undertaking and his people were forever grateful to him.

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