Antonio Canova

Italian (1757 - 1822)
Antonio Canova The Three Graces (Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia) 1815 - 1817


Born 1757
Died 1822
Nationality Italian

Canova, who was based in Rome, was one of the most famous artists in eighteenth-century Europe . His sculpture was celebrated for its classical character and convincing lifelike qualities. Canova successfully emulated and, in the view of some contemporaries, even surpassed sculptors of Antiquity and more recent times, such as Michelangelo and Bernini. He was also inspired by painters, especially those from Venice, near his birthplace, Possagno. In 1801 he was knighted by the Pope and in 1814 honoured with the title of Perpetual President of the Academy of St Luke. His work attracted distinguished patrons from all over Europe, including Britain.

Glossary terms

  • The revival of ancient Greek and Roman models of art and architecture, with particular importance put on simplicity and discipline. Such ideals have been revived at various points in history and contrast with more decadent and dynamic styles such as the Baroque.