Statue of a DancerHome
| Français | Introduction
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,
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,
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,
15 Bassano 4459.
16 Bassano 1439.
17 Bassano 1082. The house still stands and is now a theological
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
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,
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
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
Top of this page
Index | Author
& Subject | Credits | Contact
This digital collection
was produced under contract to Canada's Digital Collections program,
Collections Program, Copyright
© National Gallery of