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Antonio Canova
Self-Portrait

1811-12
Plaster

Location
Gypsotheca, Scarpa wing

The plaster is the original model of the marble preserved inside the Canovian Temple in Possagno. It was Quatremère de Quincy that suggested Canova sculpted his portrait, his exact words were: “One day, do your portrait”. After painting two self-portraits (Self-Portrait as Painter, 1792, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi and Self-Portrait as Sculptor, 1799, Possagno, Museo Gypsotheca Antonio Canova), the artist started with the production of his sculpted self-portrait. So, he chose the stone that would represent him in eternity, in fact this sculpture is Canova’s definitive portrait and what he wants people to remember him by. If in the paintings he portrays himself in a very “human” way, with his tools, in this piece he depicts an iconography that is suitable for a sculptor that has always considered the antique an absolute reference for an identity. With his profile slightly turned to the side, his eyes looking straight into creativity, and mouth half-opened, he is proposing an ideal beauty iconography where the use of accessories is not in conflict with his representation. Cicognara believed the portrait to have been executed “in the exact moment of inspiration”.

● Inventory Number
213

● Dimensions
50x70x45 cm

● Ownership
Fondazione Canova onlus, Possagno (TV)

● Marble
Canovian Temple, Possagno (IT)
City Museum, Sheffield (UK)

● Plaster
Musei di Roma, Rome (IT)