National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Bulletin 11 (VI:1), 1968

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Canova's Statue of a Dancer

by Hugh Honour

Pages  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


1 Bassano 6019, quoted in V. Malamani, Canova, Milan, 1911, p. 62. All documents cited in this article are in the Biblioteca Civica, Bassano del Grappa. The reference numbers are those given by A. Sorbelli, Inventari dei Manoscritti delle bibliotheche d'Italia, vol. LVIII (Bassano del Grappa), Florence, 1934.

2 E.Q. Visconti to Canova, 18 August 1802; Bassano 1759. Both works are now in the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad.

3 Bassano 733.

4 E. Bassi, La Gipsoteca di Possagno, Venice, 1957, p. 167. When Vincenzo Pacelli visited Canova's studio on 24 January 1808 he noted the gesso of the Dancer among the few works he had not previously seen (Diario in Istituto per la Storia del Risorgimento Italiano, Rome), and it is tempting to suggest that the date on this modello should read 1807.

5 A. C. Quatremère de Quincy, Canova et ses ouvrages, Paris, 1834, p. 365.

6 Bassano 724.

7 Bassan 733.

8 Leller of 9 November 1810, in Quatremère de Quincy, p. 378.

9 A payment of 2,000 zecchini was sentto him, 13 January 1812, Bassano 741.

10 Bassano 745.

11 This was perhaps because of the nudity of the figure. Fesch had originally stated (Bassano 724) that Josephine wished that the statue "non sia total mente nuda."

12 Bassano 1693, quoted in Malamani, op. cit. (above, note 1), pp. 175-176.

13 Quatremère de Quincy, pp. 385-387.

14 Quoted by G. Hubert, Les Sculpteurs Italiens en France sous la Révolution, L'Empire et la Restauration 1790-1830, Paris, 1964, p. 54.

15 Bassano 4459.

16 Bassano 1439.

17 Bassano 1082. The house still stands and is now a theological college.

18 Bassano 1083.

19 Bassano 1084

20 Bassano 2859.

21 Bassano 6089. [The Veronese Venus Disarming Cupid which is in a private collection in Rome is published with full history by G. Briganti in Arte Veneta, vol. XII, 1958, pp. 91-96. The Editors are indebted to Professor Ellis Waterhouse for this information.]

22 Bassano 1438. In this and other quotations I have preserved Clarke's spelling and reluctance to use accents.

23 Sir William Hamilton wrote to Canova on 9 September 1816 (Bassano 1513) saying that he would ask. Lord Cawdor and Sir Simon Clarke about having the statues exhibited.

24 Bassano 4 / LXXXVIII / 8.

25 Bassano 1439. In the same letter Clarke said he wanted to commission Francis Chantrey to carve a portrait bust of Canova.

26 Bassano 1185.

27 Bassano 1440. Mons.r Rogers is Samuel Rogers.

28 Bassano 2863.

29 Several pictures from Clarke's collection were bought by Sir Robert Peel and are now in the National Gallery, London (see N. Maclaren, National Gallery Catalogues: The Dutch School, London, 1960). Clarke's Christ and the Woman of Samaria by Guercino is in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. I am indebted to Mr. Myron Laskin, Jr., for this information.

30 L. Cicognara, Biografia di Antonio Canova, Venice, 1823, p. 69. This is repeated by M. Missirini, Della Vita di Antonio Canova, Milan, 1824, vol. I, p. 14, and others. A. D'Este, Memorie di Antonio Canova, Florence, 1864, p. 346, lists the Dancer as a work completed alter Canova's death, but this is disproved by the letter from Clarke cited above, Bassano 2863.

31 D'Este, op. cit. (above, note 30), p. 436.

32 [C.A. Eaton], Rome in the Nineteenth Century, Edinburgh, 1820, vol. 111, p. 299.

33 There is a reduced marble copy in Government House, Ottawa. I am indebted to Mr. Myron Laskin, Jr., for this information.

34 Quatremère de Quincy, pp. 166-167.

35 The dancer with her finger on her chin was modelled in 1809 and completed in marble before 1818 for Domenico Manzoni; it is now in the Galleria Nazionale, Rome. The dancer with cymbals was begun before 1812 and completed before January 1815 for Count Andrea Rasumovsky of Vienna. It was damaged by fire in 1815; its present whereabouts is unrecorded.

36 A. Canova, I Quaderni di Viaggio, ed. E. Bassi, Venice-Rome, 1959, p. 80.

37 Ibid., p. 86.

38 Canova carved his first statue of Hebe for Giuseppe Albrizzi. Completed in 1799, it is now in the National Gallery, East Berlin.

39 E. Bassi, op. cit. (above, note 36), pp. 116-243. There are also drawings of dancers by Canova which may have been executed in connection with the paintings or the sculptures; one shows the figure with her hands on her hips as in the Leningrad and Ottawa statues, cf. E. Bassi, Il Museo Civico di Bassano: i desegni di Antonio Canova, Venice, 1959, pp. 65, 67.

40 E. Bassi, Il Museo Civico, p. 227.

41 G. Morazzoni, "Influenze Canoviane sul palcoscenico della Fenice," in Arte Neoclassica. Atti del convegno 12-14 Ottobre 1957, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venezia, Venice-Rome, 1964, pp. 221-225. Mr. Lincoln Kirstein kindly informs me that the poses of Canova's dancers could not be held unless they were wearing toe-shoes of a type which did not come into general use until about 1835.

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