Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825) as Venus Triumphant, c.1805-08 (marble), Canova, Antonio (1757-1822) / Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library
Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) was an unrivaled Italian sculptor, internationally renowned for his Neoclassic works. Inspired by Antiquity, Canova expressed idealistic purity in his immense sculptures and bas-reliefs. Calling his anatomical studies the secret of his art, he also observed performers’ expressions and movements, and immersed himself in ancient and modern history. Canova’s works, which were characterized by a soft, mellow finish, were highly sought after by esteemed leaders such as Napoleon, Catherine the Great of Russia and the Duke of Wellington.