Chiara Piva

Pietro Edwards and the Creugante by Antonio Canova

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The present study is built on an unedited manuscript of Pietro Edwards that has been uncovered in the archives of Venice. The document is a long review addressed to Antonio Canova, encompassing the author’s thoughts on the plaster cast Creugante, which in 1802 was donated by the sculptor to the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice. In the context of the wide international debate that arose among connoisseurs and collectors, involving both this statue and its plaster casts distributed in Europe, the present study analyses Edwards’ singular interpretation of Canova’s work. Edwards is presented as an unexpected connoisseur of sculptures. His review is compared also with the unpublished manuscript Praise of Antonio Canova, which was read during the first gathering of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice in 1807. The present study demonstrates that this latter document too can be ascribed to Pietro Edwards

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