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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
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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 sculpture Venus and Adonis was made by Antonio Canova between 1789 and 1794, commissioned by the Marquis Francesco Berio, who placed it in a small temple expressly created in the garden of his palace in Naples. Upon the death of the Marquis, the work was purchased at the suggestion of Canova himself by Colonel Guillaume Favre. It is currently located in Geneva at the Musée d’Art et d'Histoire. Once again, the artist chooses a subject belonging to Greek mythology. Adonis, the result of the incestuous union between Myrrh and his father Cinira, was born from the shrub in which the mother had been transformed, condemned to eternal pain. Growing up, the young man reached such a rare beauty that even Venus fell in love with him. The passion of the boy, who grew up in the woods, has always been hunting and despite the constant warnings of his beloved, he did not give up on it. It is said that the goddess tried in every way to dissuade him, to save him from dangers, to defend him from the attack of the beasts. But, as prophesied, a boar, during a hunt, bit him and killed him. The moment chosen by the artist is that of leave, which will then prove to be the announced and last farewell, the instant before the atrocious fate is fulfilled. It is not the moment of maximum pathos of the story, but the one that anticipates it, thus creating, according to neoclassical canons, a state of absolute rigor and balance. The work can be considered his masterpiece in the "delicate and gentle" genre, in which the Winckelmannian concept of grace and ideal beauty, made his own by the artist, is expressed to the highest degree. The predominant figure of the sculptural group is the male one, taller, on which Venus leans as if it were a column. The dart that the protagonist holds with his right hand is the one he will use to face the beast, even if in the myth it is not specified which weapon it was really about. Her expression is dominated by a slight melancholy, but also by a faint smile as if she wanted to reassure the goddess holding her close with a tender embrace. Venus is completely stripped of its divine being and is perceived as a simple human creature. She is a woman worried by the presentiment of what could happen, immersed in a sense of protection that manifests itself in a very sweet and delicate caress on the face of the beloved. The dog at their feet, rendered with singular naturalistic perspicuity, calls for hunting. Its rough fur creates a stark contrast to the smooth skin of the two characters. A scene outside of myth and divismo therefore, belonging to earthly love.

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