Antonio Canova (November 1, 1757--October 13, 1822) was an Italian sculptor. Some of his most notable works include the Pietà and Religion.


Canova was born in Possagno, Italy. When he was just three years old, his father died and his mother remarried. He spent the rest of his childhood with his paternal grandparents.

His father and grandfather were stone-cutters. His grandfather taught him to draw fairly early on, and when it became clear he had an affinity for it, Canova went on to spend the next years preparing to take on the family business as a sculptor.

It was while working under his grandfather that he met the family that would come to be his most loyal patrons, the Failer family of Venice, which included a senator. This close relationship led to Canova being place as an apprentice to sculptor Giuseppe Torretto.

Canova's first major public success was his work Orpheus and Eurydice.


In his youth, he went on to produce the sculpture Daedalus and Icarus.



His early success landed him in Rome in 1780. His first famous work in Rome was Theseus Vanquishing the Minotaur. Canova was quickly becoming an expert in adherence to the natural form.



Other works he completed in the following years included Psyche, Cupid, and Parting of Venus and Adonis.


Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss (source)


His most notable final projects were Religion, Mars and Venus, Pius VI, the Pietà, the St. John, and Magdalen.


Perseus holding Medusa's head (source)


"Tomb of Marie Christine by Canova - Vienna"


After he died, his heart was interred in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice inside a marble pyramid he had designed as a mausoleum for the painter Titian.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 01 November 2014
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