Antonio Canova (Possagno/Treviso, 1757 - Venice, 1822)
White marble, 185x95cm×70 cm
Museum of Art and History (Musee d'Art et d'Histoire) - MAH, Geneva, Switzerland
Antonio Canova began to sculpt the marble Venus and Adonis in July 1789. After its completion in 1794 the marble group was acquired by Francesco Berio, Marquis de Salza, who built a small temple to shelter in the garden of his palace in Naples.
Canova was an Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice who became famous for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh. The epitome of the neoclassical style, his work marked a return to classical refinement after the theatrical excesses of Baroque sculpture. Among Canova’s English pupils were sculptors Sir Richard Westmacott and John Gibson.