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XIX century Academic Study of the Head of Helen of Troy by Canova. Cm 63 x cm 46

XIX century Academic Study of the Head of Helen of Troy by Canova. Cm 63 x cm 46

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XIX century Academic Study of the Head of Helen of Troy by Canova (From Gypsoteca plaster)

63 cm x 46 cm
Charcoal and white chalk drawing on light brown paper. 

Very good conservation conditions. ( see photo for detailed conditions).

Antonio Canova's "Head of Helen" is a marble sculpture created around 1811, depicting Helen of Troy, a figure from Greek mythology renowned for her extraordinary beauty, which sparked the Trojan War. The sculpture is displayed at the Civic Museum of Bassano del Grappa and is celebrated for its exceptional refinement and Canova's ability to render marble with a lifelike quality.

Helen of Troy is a mythological figure, the daughter of Zeus and Leda, considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Her beauty led to her abduction (or voluntary elopement) with Paris, a Trojan prince, an event that triggered the Trojan War. Byron was deeply impressed by the sculpture, dedicating a poem to it that celebrated its ideal beauty. Another version of the sculpture was gifted by Canova to Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, in gratitude for his efforts in recovering Italian artworks looted by Napoleon.

Plaster casts from nineteenth-century academies often drew inspiration not only from classical antiquity but also from the works of great masters of the past, such as Michelangelo, and contemporaries like Antonio Canova.

Among Canova's plaster casts, three were particularly popular: Paris, Helen, and Calliope. This drawing represents one of the many examples of academic exercises based on the most important plaster statues.

Students focused on the chiaroscuro effect and detailed representation of the face.

The drawing of Paris is executed with mastery using charcoal, giving the face a majestic, realistic, and three-dimensional appearance, while the curly hair is rendered with a grisaille effect.




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