Gipsoteca Canoviana, Possagno


Canova Love and Psyche

The sculpture of Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822) is so smooth and so white and so large, so full of energy and emotion that I just want to run my fingers over them. I’m not allowed, of course.

You may recognize his sculptures since they are spread far and wide across the world. Click on the links below for a small sample of some of his most famous works worldwide.

To see copies of his most famous works as well as hundreds of his original sculptures all in one place, visit the Gipsoteca Canoviana in Canova’s hometown of Possagno, north of Venice. Canova worked primarily in Rome, with frequent trips to Paris and London, but he returned to Possagno often.

His sun-filled home, studio and gigantic Gipsoteca with courtyard are a great way to spend several hours, and gain a good understanding of the style and technique of the artist who was one of the founders of the neo-classical style

In addition to rooms and rooms of sculpture, the visitor also gets a unique behind-the-scenes look: Canova’s tools and sketches are on display, as is a detailed description of the innovative process he created in order to mass produce his designs, which involved making a plaster cast of a smaller scale clay or wax model, and then piercing it with small nails in order to accurately transfer the proportions when creating the larger marble piece. 


Photo of Canova’s Cupid & Psyche, original on display at The Louvre, Paris

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Posted by on Feb 13, 2009 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

1 Comment

  1. Federica
    March 18, 2009

    Hello Madeline, I came here following your link in expats in italy forum.
    I love this place. Is one I wanted to suggest you for your blog.
    I grew up near there in Veneto and this is one of my favourite spots to visit on a spring sunday. I took there my boyfriend when we just started dating at the beginning of 2008. He’s Italian, from Milan, but he was absolutely stunned when he read “Gipsoteca Canoviana” on the wall of the house because he had no idea that such a place existed. That place is more and more in my heart for this and many other reasons and I suggest everyone to visit it at least one in their lives.