Archive for November, 2009

Antonio Canova and Napoleon

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

In 1802, at the personal request of Napoleon, Canova returned to Paris to sculpt a bust of the first consul. The artist was entertained with benevolence, and various honors were conferred upon him. The statue, which is of colossal dimensions and entitled “Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker”, was not finished till four years after. On the fall of the great emperor, his successor Louis XVIII presented this statue to the British government, by whom it was afterwards given to the Duke of Wellington.
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Perseus with the Head of Medusa

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

His “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” appeared soon after his return from Germany. The moment of representation is when Perseus the hero, flushed with conquest, displays the head of the “snaky Gorgon” Medusa, whilst the right hand grasps a sword of a singular device. By a public decree, this excellent work was placed in one of the stanza of the Vatican reserved for the most precious works of antiquity till then.
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