"Paolina Bonaparte"(Borghese Gallery) by Antonio Canova

Carved by the greatest of Neoclassical sculptors, Antonio Canova, in 1805, the life-size sculptural portrait of Napoleon’s younger sister Paolina Borghese is as beautiful as it was scandalous! While depicting the wife of a Roman nobleman and sister of an emperor as the “Venus Victrix” (Victorious Venus) from the Judgment of Paris myth in a semi-nude state was considered highly inappropriate, it seems that Paolina was completely oblivious to the fact. When asked if she was uncomfortable posing for Canova with so little clothing on, she replied that the sculptor had a stove burning the entire time which kept her warm… Buona visione!


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