ART

All About Italy (USA) - - Contents - www.museo­canova.it Ilona Catani Scar­lett

An­to­nio Canova (1757-1822) has been the fore­most Neo­clas­si­cal sculp­tor of the late 18th and early 19th cen­turies and was highly cel­e­brated while he was alive. For this rea­son, in 1816, he was rec­om­mended by Thomas Jef­fer­son to pro­duce a statue of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton for the North Carolina State­house de­pict­ing him as an an­cient Ro­man leader writ­ing his farewell ad­dress. The sculp­ture was un­veiled in 1821, but only ten years later a fire de­stroyed it, leav­ing be­hind charred frag­ments.

The Frick Col­lec­tion, in the past year, bor­rowed a full-size plas­ter model of the mon­u­ment, as well as draft sketches, re­lated en­grav­ings and draw­ings from the Museo Canova in Possagno (Tre­viso), which they have re­cently re­turned. The mu­seum ded­i­cated to the artist in his home-town cel­e­brates this re­turn with an ex­hi­bi­tion en­ti­tled ‘Canova | Wash­ing­ton‘ that will be on show un­til April 28, 2019.

The ex­hi­bi­tion re­traces the story of the lost mas­ter­piece, prob­a­bly the least known pub­lic mon­u­ment among those cre­ated by Canova. Cu­rated by Xavier F. Salomon, head cu­ra­tor of the Frick Col­lec­tion, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mario Gud­erzo – di­rec­tor of the Gyp­sotheca and An­to­nio Canova Mu­seum, of the Venice In­ter­na­tional Foun­da­tion, and of Friends of Venice Italy - the ex­hi­bi­tion dis­plays also a por­trait of Canova painted in 1816 by Thomas Lawrence.

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