Antonio Canova (1 November 1757 – 13 October 1822) was an Italian sculptor famous for his work in marble. Often regarded as the greatest of the neoclassical artists, his work was inspired by the Baroque and the classical revival, but made more contemporary by dispensing with the melodrama of the former and adding a human element to the latter.
Recalling the visual presence of Canova’s sculptures, the marble element is naturally grey. According to legend, Canova would pass over the freshly-chiselled, once-white stone with a cloth soaked with water, the same one used to wash the sculpting tools. The stone would absorb the dirt and acquire a more natural look.
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