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Paulina Borghese, posing as Venus Victoria, after Antonio Canova monumental statue.
One of Canova’s most masterly sculptures, his marble portrait of the beautiful Paulina, sister to Napoleon.
A commission which drew upon all his artistic skills, to portray her without accusation of exhibitionism, luckily she was delighted with the finished work, which is now on permanent display in the Galleria Borghese,
The reclining Pauline Bonaparte holds an apple in her hand evoking the Venus Victrix in the judgement of Paris, who was chosen to settle a dispute between Juno (power), Minerva (arts and science) and Venus (love).
This marble statue of Pauline in a highly refined pose is considered a supreme example of the Neoclassical style.
Antonio Canova executed this portrait between 1805 and 1808 without the customary drapery of a person of high rank, an exception at the time, thus transforming this historical figure into a goddes of antiquity in a pose of classical tranquillity and noble semplicity.
The base of the original housed a mechanism that caused the sculpture to rotate, as in the case of other works by Canova. The roles of artwork and spectator were thus reversed, it was the sculpture that moved whilst the spectator stood still and observed the splendid statue from all angles.
30 cm tall.
Entirely handmade in England.