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Antonio Canova, the great neoclassical sculptor, was born in Possagno: the most important testimonies of his art (sculptures, reliefs, sketches, paintings…) can be found today in the house where he was born and in the nearby Gypsotheca where Canova’s brother, Giovanni Battista Sartori, wanted to transfer, since 1829, all the plaster models that were in the Roman Studio when the artist died.
The Possagno Museum, one of the first museums in the Veneto region, provides a complete picture of the art and life of Antonio Canova: in addition to the plaster casts (which are the original statues, of which the marbles scattered throughout the world are replicas), there are oil and tempera paintings, drawings, memoirs, clothes, work tools, books…
All of this is housed in precious architectures that provide the most valid context for appreciating the grandiose artistic production of Canova: from the eighteenth-century house, built according to the skill of the local master stonecutters and stone cutters, to the nineteenth-century Gypsotheca of Francesco Lazzari; from the twentieth-century extensions of Carlo Scarpa and Luciano Gemin to the grandiose Temple, designed by Canova himself as the town’s church, just a few meters from his house.
The Antonio Canova Museum in Possagno is not only a collection of statues: it’s a "Canova complex" made up of museums, archives, libraries, a study center and collaborations.
It is a lively and innovative place for the diffusion of Canova’s knowledge thanks to workshops, reinterpretations, guides, itineraries, virtual tours, publications, etc., which are able to educate and transmit culture.