Curated by: Omar Cucciniello e Paola Zatti
From 25 October 2019, the Modern Art Gallery of Milan presents the exhibitionCanova. The ideal faces, a precious journey that for the first time reconstructs in its rooms the genesis and evolution of the famous "ideal heads", the particular and fortunate strand of Canova's work dedicated to the many, different variations of female beauty. at the height of his career.
Guardian of one of the most important collections of neoclassical art at national level, the Gallery of Modern Art is the perfect setting for Canova's works, of which he keeps three masterpieces: the original plaster model of Ebe, the bronze bust of Napoleon and the marble herm of the Vestal, the centerpiece of the exhibition.
Curated by Omar Cucciniello and Paola Zatti, the exhibition is promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan-Culture, Gallery of Modern Art in Milan and by the Electa publishing house, and tells the story of this genre through 39 works including 24 by Canova . Among these, 5 sculptures never exhibited in Italy before, such as Corinna and the Muse of 1817.
The works on display come from the main national museums (Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Canoviana Gipsoteca di Possagno, Modern Art Gallery in Turin, National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Correr Museum in Venice) and international (State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Musée des Beaux Arts in Lyon, Musée Fabre in Montpellier).
Veneto by birth, after moving to Rome in 1781 Antonio Canova (Possagno, 1757 - Venice, 1822) became the most important sculptor at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, interpreting Winckelmann's lesson and founding modern sculpture. Courted by sovereigns from all over Europe, from Napoleon to the Popes, from the King of England to the Tsar, Canova modified and oriented the taste of an entire era, to which he supplied models of idealized beauty, interpreted above all in his sculptures of mythological subjects .
In the last twelve years of activity, when he is the most famous and most requested sculptor in Europe, Canova dedicates himself to a series of female effigies of ideal characters that has immediate luck among contemporaries, both between the client and the critics of the era. The exhibition is dedicated to these, which he himself called "ideal heads".