• Dancer

    Artist:
    Canova, Antonio. 1757-1822
    Dimensions:
    height: 179 cm

Canova, Antonio. 1757-1822

Dancer

Italy, 1811-1812

Dance was one of Canova's favourite themes. He was fascinated by the sculptural effects of a figure in movement and many of his works, including reliefs and even paintings, deal with the subject of dance. He created three statues of dancers in various poses, the most successful of them that now in the Hermitage. The statue has had various names, and Canova himself called it "Erato, Muse of the Dance of Love" in one of his letters (he originally intended to add a figure of a faun playing a flute). Holding the edge of her long dress, the young woman moves slowly into her dance. The sense of rhythmic movement is so well expressed in the light turn of the torso, in the steps, the placing of the hands and the turn of the head, that the viewer immediately recognizes her as a dancer. Yet the strict, light line of the silhouette creates a sense of Classical balance which is evidence of the sculptor's unwavering loyalty to the ideal of Classical Antiquity. With great skill he conveys the fine transparency of the dancer's robe and the playful locks of hair crowned with a garland of flowers. Contemporaries were much taken with the innovative nature of the sculpture. Some scholars have even suggested that Canova's figures of dancers influenced 19th-century choreography.

Title:

Dancer

Place:

Date:

Material:

Dimensions:

height: 179 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1815; formerly in the collection of Josephine de Beauharnias in the Castle of Malmaison near Paris

Inventory Number:

Н.ск-18

Category:

Collection:

User collections including this work of art: