Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830)
Antonio Canova, 1815–19
Oil on canvas
35 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (90 x 72 cm)
Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno
Fondazione Canova onlus, Possagno
In 1815, Pope Pius VII sent Canova to Paris and London to secure the restitution of artworks taken from Rome by Napoleon. In gratitude, the pope made the artist Marquis of Ischia a year later. While in London, Canova posed for Thomas Lawrence, who showed this portrait at the Royal Academy in 1816. Lawrence reworked the portrait during a second sitting in Rome, in 1819. Dressed as a wealthy gentleman, Canova is shown at the time he was working on the Washington sculpture.