Canova. The journey to Carrara.

The art of the great sculptor trough wonderful original plaster models, memorabilia, and multimedia installations.

From 01 August 2019 to 10 August 2020


Until August 10th 2020 the Museo CARMI in Carrara is hosting the exhibition "CanovaThe journey to Carrara”. This installation will focus on the relationship between the artist – a symbol of Renaissance – and the international capital of marble. Here, the sublime beauty of art will be enhanced by a lively multimedia exploration that will catch the admiring eye of visitors. The exhibition features five original Canova statues preserved at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Carrara. It is enriched by important heirlooms such as some period letters and a contract by Canova himself. Some multimedia installations will also retrace the most important moments of the great master's biography. Cherry on the cake is the beautiful location for the Canova exhibition in 2019: Villa Fabbricotti, the nineteenth-century building in which the Michelangelo Museum of Carrara is housed but also of the splendid Parco della Padula where the 'Maddalena Giacente' is located.




Antonio Canova was born in Possagno (Treviso) in 1757. He lost his father and when his mother remarried, he was entrusted to his paternal grandfather. His grandfather was a skilled stonemason and he was the one who taught young Antonio the basics of the craft. Once his natural talents had been noticed, in 1768 he was sent to Venice where he completed an apprenticeship. In Venice he went on to attend the Pubblica Accademia del Nudo but also many studies by many sculptors. The first of Canova’s works date back to this period and made him soon famous: Orpheus and Eurydice, Apollo, Daedalus and Icarus.

In 1779 the sculptor went to Rome and here he created the most famous and important works. The influence of neoclassical ideals becomes increasingly evident and materializes in all its beauty in 'Theseus and the Minotaur', 'Eros Giovanetto', 'Love and Psyche', 'Venus and Adonis', 'Hercules and Lica' and the famous 'The three graces'. It is at this point that his fame started to cross national borders and his art was appreciated and requested by patrons and rulers from all over Europe: he went on to create funeral monuments for Clement XII and Clement XIV, Mara Cristina d'Asturia and Vittorio Alfieri.

Between 1790 and 1800 he returned to his childhood town, where he devoted himself to painting– indeed, most of his canvasses date back to this period. In 1802 he received the post of Inspector General of the Antiques and Arts of the State of the Church and in 1804 he became Napoleon's official portraitist. With the end of the Napoleonic era Canova returned to Rome where he would explore a different painting style that is closer to romanticism: an example of this change are the works 'Maddalena', 'The Lamentation on Christ mort', 'The Stuart Monument’ and ‘Venus and Mars'. Antonio Canova died in Venice on October 13, 1822.



The Canova exhibition in Carrara, curated by Mario Guderzo, director of the plaster cast gallery and the Antonio Canova Museum in Passignano, was conceived and produced by Cose Belle D’Italia Media Entertainment in exclusive collaboration with the CARMI Museum. In the six rooms that make up the fascinating exhibition, five precious original plaster casts preserved by the Accademia di Carrara, which celebrates 250 years since its foundation, will be put in dialogue, also thanks to multimedia installations.

The exhibition at the Carrara Museum begins with an introduction to the life and artworks of Canova. It is a multimedia journey in which the visitor is accompanied not only by the images but also by the voice of Adriano Giannini and the music of the cellist Giovanni Solima.

"Le Grazie", certainly one of the most famous of Canova's statues, is used to explain the creative process that leads the sculptor to give life to his wonderful figures. An entire room of the exhibition is dedicated to ‘Paolina Borghese’, after which we will continue with a series of installations that investigate the relationship between Canova and dance. Next up is a focus on the artist’s trip to Carrara, aimed at celebrating the meeting between the ‘ambassador of Italian beauty’ and the city that has most beautiful marble in the world! The fascinating journey on Canova and plaster ends with "Amore e Psiche" and "Venere and Adone".

The exhibition path at Villa Fabbricotti in Carrara consists not only of Canova’s shapes in chalk, but also of other interesting finds such as a collection of letters from the Massa State Archive and a contract dated 1783 between Conte Staffetti and Antonio Canova for the purchase of marble blocks for the construction of 'Clement XIV Funerary Monument'.



The Carrara museum, inaugurated in June 2018, is dedicated to Michelangelo, the undisputed protagonist of Renaissance art. It is housed in Carrara’s Villa Fabbricotti, a beautiful residence built in 1879 by the architect Vincenzo Micheli. This exhibition venue focuses in particular on Michelangelo's relationship with the surrounding area, the city of Carrara in Italy and of course with the famous white marble, a precious material featured in many of his works. Visit this current exhibition on Canova for an excuse to visit all the other parts of the museum as well.

On the main floor you will find the permanent exhibition composed of six themed rooms dedicated to the relationship between Michelangelo, Carrara and marble. On the mezzanine floor, in addition to the temporary exhibitions, there is the plaster cast gallery, with a large collection of plaster casts, many of which come from the Lazzerini Studio and the Scuola del Marmo, as the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara was originally called. In the basement there are two rooms dedicated to two works of 2017 which explore the link between Michelangelo and the city of Carrara: "The sin" by Andrei Konchalovsky and  “Michelangelo ­– Endless" by Edoardo Imbucci. Parco della Paldula in Carrara is also part of the museum, housing various sculptures.


You have until August 10th to visit the exhibition in Carrara on Canova, a unique chance to admire Canova’s plaster cast models as well as many memorabilia about the great artist. Make the most of your time here and pop to Florence with our unmissable one day in Florence tour. It’s a quick and easy trip to the Cradle of the Renaissance, but you’ll get so much in return! The above are a few tips, but take a look at the website dedicated to the Carrara exhibition for all the info on opening times and tickets. Then, start planning a nice trip to the land where the great sculptors came to pick their Canova marble.

The white marble of  the Apuan Alps and the wonderful statues of Canova are ready to be admired by visitors for a fantastic combination of art, culture and nature!



Date:  From 1st August 2019 to 10th August 2020

Location:  CARMI - Museo Carrara e Michelangelo

                    Villa Fabbricotti, Via Sorgnano, Carrara (MS)

Opening hours, tickets, info:

By Insidecom Editorial Staff