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.


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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