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Vatican Museums

You are along the route: THE FASCINATION OF THE CLASSICS. GOETHE AND CANOVA

Musei Vaticani_1
Viale Vaticano
www.museivaticani.va
Every day except Sunday 9:00-16:30. Admission fee.
2016 Calendar with special openings at www.vatican.va

Antonio Canova (1757-1822); Statua di Perseo; marmo; 1800-1801; Musei Vaticani; Museo Pio-Clementino; Cortile Ottagono; Inv. 969

The sculpture depicts the Greek hero Perseus who, using the stratagem of her image reflected in his shield, manages to cut off the head of the Medusa who turned anyone into stone with her glance. It was carved by Canova between 1979 and 1801 and acquired by Pope Pius VII in 1802 to make up for the removal of may ancient masterpieces by Napoleon and the French, including the Apollo Belvedere, which it replaced. When the Apollo was returned in 1815, it was placed in its definitive location with two boxers in the Belvedere cabinet, on the wishes of the Pope himself. The two works are related from a compositional viewpoint as well: Canova gave Perseus an appearance that is very similar to Apollo, due to the positioning of the legs, the distribution of weight and the opening of the arms, but at the same time gave it a grace and flexibility extraneous to the ancient model.

Foto Servizio Fotografico dei Musei Vaticani – ©Musei Vaticani

FOTO DIGITALE

The two colossuses of Creugas and Damoxenos represent boxers recalled by the ancient author Pausanias as equally valorous athletes, who met at the games in Nemea, Greece. They were carved between 1795 and 1806 and acquired by Pope Pius VII for display in the Vatican Museums to replace some works that had been transferred to Paris. The youths express an extraordinary dynamism in the tension of their muscles, transmitting the idea of strength and human conflict. Carved to be placed opposite each other following the example of the Colossuses of Monte Cavallo – the Dioscuri of the Quirinal – they are among few modern works placed alongside ancient statutes in the Vatican.

Foto Servizio Fotografico dei Musei Vaticani – ©Musei Vaticani


How to get the step: Vatican Museums

Viale Vaticano, Roma, Italy

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