Antonio Canova (November 1, 1757 - October 13, 1822) was an Italian sculptor who became famous for his marble sculptures that rendered delicately nude flesh.
He was born in Possagno, Italy. His family had for generations been stone cutters, and he learned to cut marble at a very early age. When only twelve years old he modeled a lion in butter, that was so liked by Signor Falieri that he sent him to be taught by Torretti, the most noted sculptor of the time.
He studied ancient art and made many statues of classical subjects, as well as many monuments, busts and statues of living people, among them Napoleon and George Washington.
The large fortune which he made was mostly spent in helping the poor, or in assisting other artists.
He was made a nobleman and received many honors.
He died in Venice at age sixty-five and was buried in the town he was born.
Some works by Canova
Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche with Butterfly
Venus and Adonis
Daedalus and Icarus
The Three Graces
Perseus slays Medusa
Canova often executed more than one copy of a successful sculpture; there are for example two copies of The Three Graces and two of Cupid and Psyche.