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Antonio Canova - Italian Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822)

Born in Venice, Antonio Canova adopted the popular Baroque and Rococo styles in his first works. These fashionable sculpture appealed to his first clientele, the Venetian nobility. While visiting Rome in 1779 and 1781, Canova began to admire the ancient Roman art and visited the studios of the restorers, Bartolomeo Cavaceppi and Francesco Antonio Franzoni. Canova’s statue, Apollo Crowning Himself came to define the Neoclassical movement. Canova was known as the greatest sculptor of his time and his reputation grew exponentially across Europe until his death in 1822. The epitome of the neoclassical style, his work marked a return to classical refinement after the theatrical excesses of Baroque sculpture. He was also regular in his attendance at the academy, where he carried off several prizes. But he relied far more on the study and imitation of nature. A large portion of his time was also devoted to anatomy, which science was regarded by him as the secret of the art. He likewise frequented places of public amusement, where he carefully studied the expressions and attitudes of the performers. He formed a resolution, which was faithfully adhered to for several years, never to close his eyes at night without having produced some design. Whatever was likely to forward his advancement in sculpture he studied with ardour. On archaeological pursuits he bestowed considerable attention. With ancient and modern history he rendered himself well acquainted and he also began to acquire.

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