The Birthplace of Canova is a typical 17th-century house. It comprises a central body on two floors, where all the activities took place during the day and the night, and all the annexes, such as the cellar, the storage closet, the long colonnades where the working tools were kept, the shed for draft animals, the carriage storage area, the wells…
After the earthquake (1695) that caused the collapse and the destruction of many buildings in Possagno, the house was renovated and enlarged by adding more rooms. Visitors today can admire the House that Canova renovated between the end of the 18th century, when the Torretta (“the Turret”) was built, and the beginning of the 19th century, when he decided to create the so-called Sala degli Specchi (“the Room of the Mirrors”).
The most interesting elements are certainly the monolithic sink made of Lumachella stone, the fireplace, the majestic Venetian-style kitchen with multiple braziers to keep the food warm.
The original furniture, now scarce, dates back to the first half of the 19th century: the dish cabinet and the dressers, the tables and the mirrors, the cooking pot to preserve perishable food and the clotheshorse for woolen garments. Inside the several rooms, it is possible to admire paintings, engravings, drawings and marble sculptures by the artist, as well as working tools and clothes. Three rooms in particular offer an interesting insight into the life of the artist: the room where Canova was born, the basement of the House where the sculpting studio was situated and the Turret used as a library, where Canova painted the impressive altarpiece representing the Deposition of Christ (now located in the Temple of Possagno).
THE GARDEN AND THE “BROLO”
The vast green area located in front of the House is organized according to the typical regional structure: a low hedge defines the path near the main entrance door, while some circular rose beds decorate and color the first part of the Garden. Walking to the South towards the magnificent wrought iron Gate, forged by skillful local artisans and used since the end of the 18th century, visitors can admire the “Brolo”, that is a typical orchard of Northern Italy, with varied and rare trees: from the tree Peony, the Buxus of the Balearic Islands, the Bougainvillea and the Lagerstroemia to the Star Magnolia, the Magnolia obovata, the Forsythia and the Calycanthus. In the Southwestern corner of the Brolo, in 1799 Canova planted a stone pine. Today, the vigorous tree still offers its shade during warm summer afternoons.
Beyond the surrounding walls and the impressive gate, visitors can catch sight of the Park, where the family of Canova harvested the forage for their animals. The Park is delimited by a belt of high trees with a very thick foliage. This area is traditionally known as the “persei”, to indicate the four fields that Canova bought after being paid (3,000 zecchini) for the statue of Perseus, concluded in 1801.