The Accademia, Venice and Antonio Canova; some antique casts

The subject of today’s slide show are the plaster casts of works by Antonio Canova and similar casts after antique sculpture collected by the Academia.

Canova:

Casts of antique sculpture:

Shall we begin?

A few decades ago, I was just wild about the work of Antonio Canova (1757–1822), the Italian neoclassical sculptor. While I still admire a few of his statues, my tastes have changed. Nevertheless, my heart always beats a little faster when happening upon a work by Canova: maybe it is because it is like a hug from home. It’s easy, I understand it.

I’d been girding my loins in Venice, knowing full well I would be going to the Accademia and prepping myself for some serious looking and thinking. Admiring artworks is hard work, I don’t care what anybody says. Especially when you are a serious student. I was all set to start reading labels, performing quick formal analyses in my mind. And, when I saw a section at the beginning of the museum devoted to Canova casts, I headed right in! A bit of an appetizer before the main course.

A portrait painted by ? of Canova on his deathbed. Even his corpse looks like a sculpture in black and white.

The collection of plaster casts after antique sculptures:

And, to close this post, it was interesting to learn that in this very building, in the 1824, Canova’s life and art were commemorated in an impressive ceremony.

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