Io, Canova
Genio europeo
Considered the greatest living artist by his contemporaries, Antonio Canova was celebrated as the one who had taken sculpture back to those sublime heights thought to belong only to classical sculpture. The humble Possagno stonemason, witness to a period of great historical and political upheavals, conquered the international art scene, contending with the greats of his time and contributing to the recovery of masterpieces with his important diplomatic missions. He was endowed with rare talent but also an uncommon artistic sensitivity and became a leading figure in European cultural life, indelibly marking the taste of the time in which he lived and worked.

The man, the artist, the collector, the diplomat are the many aspects highlighted for the first time by this exhibition, with which the Musei Civici di Bassano del Grappa, holder of one of the world’s most extensive and important collections of Canova’s works and documents, pay tribute to the greatest sculptor of the Neo-classical age in the bicentenary of his death. About 140 sculptures, paintings, drawings and precious books, some presented to the public for the first time, guide the visitor on an ideal journey in the footsteps of Canova, from the creative world of his studio to the big cities of the old continent, revealing episodes and meetings with the people who determined the course of his life and of European history.

Curated by Giuseppe Pavanello and Mario Guderzo, under the scientific direction of Barbara Guidi, Io, Canova. Genio europeo is presented by the Musei Civici di Bassano del Grappa in association with Villaggio Globale International under the aegis of the “Comitato Nazionale per le celebrazioni del bicentenario della morte di Antonio Canova".

On cover: Antonio Canova, Self-portrait, 1812. Bassano del Grappa, Civic Museum. Photo: HEADS Production. © 2022 Musei Biblioteca Archivio Bassano del Grappa

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