"b. Possagno, Venice, 1757; d. Rome, 1822. Canova's father and grandfather were both sculptors of repute. By the death of his father, Antonio Canova, at the age of three years, came under the care of his grandfather, whose pupil he became. Afterward he studied under giuseppe bernardo, called toretti (the elder), a Venetian sculptor who had settled at pagnano. At the age of thirteen, Canova was pensioned by the Venetian government that he might go to Rome to pursue his studies. There, by his industry not less than his genius, he attracted marked atten- tion. At the age of sixteen, disgusted with the conventional- isms of his masters, he began a systematic and laborious study of the ancient masters and of nature as seen in living models. His knowledge of human anatomy was unsurpassed, and in moulding its forms, and through these forms expressing the most delicate and subtile emotions of the human mind, he was without a rival. His industry, benevolence, and simplicity of character were on an equality with his genius. Of him it was said that, 'decorated with equestrian orders of many sovereigns, decreed noble by many states, dignified by titles, enriched by pensions, received with distinction at all courts, desired by all societies, and associated with all the principal academies of Europe, he still preserved the original simplicity and modesty of his character.' " Hebe. The freshness of nature that seems to have inexhaustible sources, suggested the exquisite myth of Hebe, as one who had access to the secret springs of immortal life, and who drew therefrom life-giving nectar for life-giving deities. Hebe's offices were to preserve youth and freshness, to offer nectar at the olympian banquets, and to minister to hera when entering or leaving the chariot. So closely identified with youth were beauty and gracefulness, that it is said that by an unfortunate fate, while passing nectar to the gods, Hebe lost her position and was superseded by ganymede. another legend states, however, that she resigned her office on the occasion of her marriage to hercules. " Canova's statue of Hebe was repeated several times with slight changes in detail. The one on exhibition is, perhaps, one of the most satisfactory. It was produced on the order of a Spanish nobleman, and after his death was purchased for exhibition in America. It was obtained from the importer by the late Robert J. Ward. " The Cup-Bearer of Jove - The goddess of eternal youth - is represented just descending from the skies. The soft drapery is pressed by the buoyant wind against her person, and partly reveals the beauties of her perfect form. Never has marble more felicitously expressed the soft, warm, living lines of beauty, or embodied more grace and motion." [P. 96-97.]
Illustrated Catalogue of Works of Art in the Art Building of the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Ky. August 16 - October 25, 1884. Prepared by Charles M. Kurtz, Director of the Art Department. Editor of National Academy Notes and the Art Union Magazine. Published for the Art Committee by John P. Morton and Company.