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Monument to Canova

Canova himself made the design and model for this monument in 1794 to dedicate it to Titian, but the sum necessary for its construction could not be raised and when the Master died in 1822 the work was still a project. Canova was taken to his birthplace at Possagno, but the Accademia di Belle Arti of Venice wished a monument to be built to preserve the porphyry urn containing the artist's heart, and the work was carried out by six of his disciples and completed in 1827.
The mausoleum is a simple yet imposing pyramid in marble which makes a perfect background for the standing scene we must focus: the funeral procession of allegoric female figures representing the best companions of the artist in life.
The advancing figure before the open door of the pyramid is Sculpture Weeping, followed by Painting and Architecture accompanied by three little genii with lit torches to symbolize that art never dies.

On the left are the genius of Canova in the shape of a handsome angel sitting tired on the steps with his torch extinguished, and a dismayed lion of Venice. Above the door two angels support the effigy of the sculptor framed by the snake, symbol of immortality.
However cold it may appear as compared to the mood of the basilica, this evocative work is one of the most characteristic Neo-Classical monuments worth seeing.


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