Allegory on the Life of Canova

Object Details

Title:

Allegory on the Life of Canova

Artist/Maker:

Felice Giani (Italian, 1758 - 1823)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Italy (Place created)

Date:

1822 to 1823

Medium:

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, and watercolor

Dimensions:

35.9 × 62.7 cm (14 1/8 × 24 11/16 in.)

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Under a high, coffered dome, numerous mythological figures prepare a monument in honor of the famous Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Minerva, the goddess of Wisdom, leads Canova toward the cylindrical structure, while the winged figure of Fame, holding a trumpet, tries to crown him with a laurel wreath. In the center, Victory inscribes Canova's name on the monument for two of the most renowned sculptors of Greek antiquity, Phidias and Praxiteles. At the base of the monument, Time unveils Canova's sculpture Theseus and the Minotaur, while the figure of Truth leans against it with the light of knowledge on her breast. At the far right, Evil is overcome by the lion, the attribute of Saint Mark and the symbol of Venice, where Canova lived.

Felice Giani produced the drawing as a preparatory study for a monument, planned but never built, in honor of Canova. The sculpture was to commemorate the artist, who died in 1822.

Exhibitions
Italian Master Drawings (May 5 to July 19, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), May 5 to July 19, 1992
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440 - 1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000
Rome on the Grand Tour (January 8 to August 11, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 8 to August 11, 2002
A Revolutionary Age: Drawing in Europe, 1770-1820 (January 18 to May 1, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 18 to May 1, 2005
Drawing the Classical Figure (December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009
Images of the Artist (November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012
The Sculptural Line (January 17 to April 16, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 17 to April 16, 2017
Related Media
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    Audio: Allegory of Canova (Exhibit: Images of the Artist)