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Antonio Canova


Gypsotheca, Nineteenth century wing

The art piece, conceived with no commission, was bought by Pope Pius VII in 1801 for the Vatican Museums to compensate for the hole left by the antique works that were brought to France by the Napoleonic troops. This piece dates back to just before the statue of Damoxenos, and the two sculptures are meant to be experienced as a one entity and are commonly referred to as The Pugliatori. They belong to the same period as pieces like Hercules and Lichas. The sculptures are realized with considerable muscular tensions that suggest plasticity and enclose in their pose a decisive and dynamic physical energy and grandeur typical of athletes. You can perceive the artist’s desire to showcase his anatomical perfection in statues that resulted from daily graphic exercises that he did both for personal delight and by following strict discipline.

● Inventory Number

● Dimensions
223x120x60 cm

● Ownership
Fondazione Canova onlus, Possagno (TV)

● Marble
Vatican Museums, Vatican City