Canova plaster casts belonging to the Generali collection on display for the first time at the Bailo Museum in Treviso

The Group shares exceptional works from its heritage with the public as part of the exhibition supported by Generali Valore Cultura, Generali Italia’s programme that supports the promotion of cultural and artistic initiatives and territories

A heritage to be shared, to celebrate beauty through the work of a great master. For the first time, the precious plaster casts by Antonio Canova belonging to the Generali collection leave the Group’s headquarters in Trieste to be showcased in the exhibition "Canova gloria trevigiana: dalla bellezza classica all'annuncio romantico" (Canova Glory of Treviso: From Classical Beauty to the Dawn of the Romantic), curated by Fabrizio Malachin, Giuseppe Pavanello and Nico Stringa and open to the public from 14 May to 25 September 2022 at the Bailo Museum in Treviso.


A unique opportunity to admire two works by the talented "new Phidias", as the great Treviso artist was nicknamed, that are not usually accessible to the public as they are normally placed in the lodgings of Palazzo Stratti in Trieste. These works are exceptional for their refined execution, in which the artist's hand can be recognised, as well as for their size: 141 x 280 cm, weighing 300 kg each.


The series of recently restored plaster low reliefs is, in the words of Giuseppe Pavanello, leading international Canova expert, part of what can be defined as a serial production, "and in this too Canova reveals features that help to indicate him as the first modern artist".

Each specimen of the low reliefs, explains the expert, is to be considered an original work by Canova, who never translated them into marble. For the creation of these works, the artist chose the madreforma, a form whose internal part is modelled according to the shape that will be given to the plaster to be cast in it.


The works depict two very different subjects taken from the Aeneid and the Odyssey: the first - created by the artist between 1787 and 1790 - depicting “The Death of Priam” and the second, dating to the two years immediately following, depicting “The Dance of the Sons of Alcinous”. The two low reliefs were conceived by Canova himself as paired works to create a contrast between sorrow and joy: the tragic “sublime” in the murder of the Trojan king at the hands of Achilles' son and the “grace” of the dancing couple in the episode from the Odyssey.


The exhibition is supported by Generali Valore Cultura, Generali Italia’s multi-year programme to support the best Italian artistic and cultural initiatives, as part of the three-year agreement with the Municipality of Treviso on the artistic activities of the new Bailo Museum, recently restored and reopened to the public. As part of this collaboration, the new Generali Valore Cultura space for temporary exhibitions was also inaugurated inside the museum.


Further information for the visit are available on the Musei Civici di Treviso website.


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Canova plaster casts belonging to the Generali collection on display for the first time at the Bailo Museum in Treviso