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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

10/05/2019, 12:43

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #marmo, #Canova, #arte, #art, #marble, #statua, #statue, #villaborghese



PAOLINA-BONAPARTE:-MASTERPIECE-BY-CANOVA-AT-THE-BORGHESE-GALLERY


 The "Paolina Bonaparte" is a real masterpiece, not only for the realism and the sensuality of this sculpture, but also for some scandals...



In the Borghese Gallery there are not just the Bernini’s masterpiece, but also something more modern that is able to impress us: the so called "Paolina Bonaparte", sculpted by Canova, the great master of the Neoclassicism. I’m sure that the surname Bonaparte is not unknwon for you... Paolina was the Napoleon’s sister and she a real and woderful girl who, at the beginning of the XIX century, got married with Camillo Borghese, a member of this famous family. It is the reason why the masterpiece is a piece of the Borghese collection. The wedding took place at the 1803 and Camillo, in order to celebrate this important event, would like something special. So he commissioned to be the best master of that time, Canova, the best the he can do. And Canova, after some years, completed his masterpiece! Like the other masters of his time and style, Canova would like to use again the standards, the rules and the ideas known by the ancient Greeks and used again during the Renaissance Age. It is the reason why in this wonderful work of art we can find elements that come from different ispirations. First of all Canova, to find the right pose, was inspired by Renaissance works of art like the "Sleeping Venus" by Giorgione, a famous painter of the XVI century. The mattress is marble made, but it looks soft and tender...amazing! How amazing are the inspirations found by Canova. We see a wonderful reclinying young woman (the face is the portrait of Paolina), who is looking in front of her. The head is softly lean on the right hand, with the elbow laied on the pillow. Here there are several relationships with the ancient Greek word. First of all the couch where Paolina is, that is a marble reproduction of the so called "agrippina", a specific sofa used by the noble women thousand of years ago. Moreover here Paolina is depicted as Venus, Goddess of Love. She is holding an apple on the left hand, one of the attributes of Venus that comes from a mythological episode. She is also partly naked, with the legs covered by an incredible marble veil. Moreover, of course, Canova depicted Paolina for her beauty. It is an homage, but according to the chronicles she really was a beautiful woman. Imagine how she became the Camillo’s bride when she was 25, and when she went to Rome everybody recognized her posture and charm. Then when the masterpiece was completed just the special guests of the family could see it, but at the same time all the Romans knew that the marble replica of Paolina was made. And everybody would like to see it...so it seems that some Romans, mainly men of coursse, started to pay the servants of the Borghese family in order to get in touch with the work of art. In what way? The servants opened windows or doors of the privavte property at night, being payed of course! When Camillo and Paolina knew the that, a great scandal happened. Camilllo got angry and he decided to close the masterpiece inside a chest. Nobody could admire the marble work of art for years and years. A pity, of course, but also a way to understand how perfection and beauty, sometimes, could bring troubles... #unaguidaturisticaroma #romeisus #Rome #Roma #arte #scultura#marmo #art #atourguiderome


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