Paolina Borghese As Venus Victrix. 1804 - ANTONIO CANOVA
In 1802, by special request of Napoleon I, he went to Paris and modelled a colossal figure of the emperor, holding a Victory in his hand (Apsley House, London). His "Bust of Napoleon" is in the Corcoran Gallery, Washington. Some years later Canova modelled a noble statue of Napoleon's mother in antique garb; one of Marie Louise as "Concord" (Parma) and the reclining portrait of Pauline Bonaparte, wife of Prince Borghese, as "Venus Victrix" (Villa Borghese, Rome). The colossal, boyish "Palamedes" for the Villa Carlotta, Cadenabbia (1804), was followed next year by the "Venus from the Bath" (Pitti Palace, Florence). At the same time Canova was engaged upon the monument for the Archduchess Maria Christina, a group of nine mourning figures entering a mausoleum (church of theAugustinians, Vienna), and travelled to Austria to superintend the setting up of the work. In 1807 he executed the "Bust of Pius VII", one of his most notable achievements in portraiture. The number of his productions is so large that it is impossible to mention minor ones. Some of his lighter subjects, "his leisures" he called them, are well known, e.g. the "Dancing Girls". In 1814 he produced the "Three Graces".