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Hermitage loans star at Naples Canova show

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Hermitage loans star at Naples Canova show
© ANSA

(by Francesca De Lucia)
(ANSA) - Naples, March 29 - An exhibit on Antonio Canova, the
foremost neo-Classical sculptor of the late 18th and early 19th
centuries, opens on Friday at the National Archaeological Museum
in Naples (MANN).
The show 'Canova e l'Antico', which runs through June 30,
will display for the first time in the port city over 110
masterworks by the sculptor, including masterpieces on loan from
the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Canova's works, including The Three Graces and Hebe, from the
Hermitage, as well as the three-meter-high Peace from Kiev, will
be on display beside the permanent collection of the museum.
The group of six statues from St Petersburg are being loaned
together for the first time by the Hermitage museum to the MANN
thanks to a protocol of collaboration.
"If the discoveries in Herculaneum and Pompeii are
fundamental for the birth of neo-Classicism, the figure of
Canova is, perhaps, its most important artistic expression",
said Paolo Giulerini, the director of the archaeological museum,
explaining why Naples is the best place to pay homage to the
Veneto master.
Curated by Giuseppe Pavanello and organized at the city's
Global International Village, the show displays masterpieces
that inspired the imagination of literature greats such as
Stendhal and Ugo Foscolo such as the Repentant Magdalene from
Genoa; the Paris from the Museo Civico in Asolo; and the Apollo
Crowning Himself from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, among
others.
Naples was described by Canova as "paradise" and the MANN
hosts masterpieces which he saw for the first time during his
first visit to the port city in 1780 such as the Farnesiani
marbles which he studied in Rome before they were moved to
Naples by King Ferdinand IV and that inspired him profoundly.
Among other masterworks, the exhibit also showcases several
chalks and, as part of the collaboration of the Museum of
Possagno, which loaned a number of works along with the Museum
of Bassano del Grappa, 34 tempera on paper preserved at the home
in Possagno where the artist was born and restored by the MANN
for the occasion.

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