• The Decorative Arts Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 2827

    The Decorative Arts Sale

    22 - 23 September 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 477

    AN ITALIAN WHITE MARBLE BUST OF THE 'VENUS ITALICA'

    19TH CENTURY, AFTER ANTONIO CANOVA (1757-1824)

    Price Realised  

    AN ITALIAN WHITE MARBLE BUST OF THE 'VENUS ITALICA'
    19TH CENTURY, AFTER ANTONIO CANOVA (1757-1824)
    58 cm. high


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    Canova carved the original Venus Italica to replace the ancient Roman Medici Venus, seized by Napoleon in 1802 from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It was immediately hailed as Canova's masterpiece and a worthy successor to the ancient Venus. 'When I saw this divine work of Canova, I sighed with a thousand desires, for really, if the Medici Venus is a most beautiful goddess, this is a most beautiful woman' wrote the poet Ugo Foscolo in 1811. The beauty and fame of Canova's original Venus Italica created a market for replicas throughout the 19th century.

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