Canova and Thorvaldsen: an Exceptional Pairing at the Gallerie d’Italia

Canova and Thorvaldsen: an Exceptional Pairing at the Gallerie d’Italia
#Exhibitions

The height of sculpture in the 1800s, Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen challenged each other for almost thirty years on the great stage of Rome. Clear and polished marble gathered the forms of a new beauty, which was inspired by the perfection of antiquity yet incarnating the spirit of the modern era. Sons of different traditions - Canova, ambassador of the genius of an Italy still to be built, but already united in the name of art, and the Danish Thorvaldsen, known as the “Phidias of the North” - shared a passion for myth and the classics, as well as an extraordinary capacity for managing a chisel. For the first time, the two masters are protagonists of a direct confrontation at the Gallerie d’Italia in Piazza Scala. The result of a collaboration between Intesa Sanpaolo and the Ermitage in Saint Petersburg, as well as the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenaghen, the exhibition brings together loans from prestigious international collections - the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Prado in Madrid and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, but also the Uffizi, the Gallerie Nazionali d’Arte Antica in Rome and the Museo e Gypsotheca Antonio Canova in Possagno. There are over 150 works on display in an exhibition broken up into 17 sections - with themes that were precious to both, such as beauty, love and eternal youth, to the creation of highly organised ateliers and new methods of working, which characterised the work of both artists. Among the iconic works to admire, the Three Graces, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss and Ebe by Canova, Ganymede, Psyche with Vase and Napoleon as Jove with Eagle by Thorvaldsen.
Francesca Grego - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano