Sculpted Portrait of Giuseppe Bossi by Antonio Canova
Pope Gregory XVI in 1834. The Pope bestowed them to the Seminario Romano Maggiore in Laterano. This portrait has been in the Vatican Museums’ collection since 1984.The attention that Canova lavished on these casts presents an excellent opportunity to learn about the process of creating sculpture. Canova was first introduced to plaster casts in Venice, where the artist became fascinated with the collection of Abbot Phillip Farsetti. Farsetti’s eclectic collection of plaster casts included casts of both ancient works and those of more modern artists such as Michelangelo, Sansovino, Giambologna, and Duquesnoy. During his trip to Rome in 1779, Canova recognized many works from Farsetti’s collections and became convinced of the importance of molds. Once Canova settled in the capital, he began an ongoing collaboration with the expert teacher Vincenzo Malpieri to create casts not only of the clay models upon which he would base his marble sculptures, but also of the finished works themselves, which he then magnanimously made available to fellow sculptors. Their purpose, however, was not wholly instructive. Many of these casts were destined for private residences, where they were seen both as art and as a physical manifestation of the refined taste of the owner.
This bust is affected by missing areas, which must be fixed by plaster that will fill in the deficiencies. After scientific investigation, the restorers will complete the intervention by cleaning and rebalancing of the surface. Based on the experience of similar pieces as these, we plan to complete a proper cleaning, a balancing of the tones of the surface color, as well as other small technical adjustments that become clear during the intervention.
Restoration process includes
- Removal of dust
- Complete cleaning
- Consolidation of cracks and gaps
- Reintegration of missing parts
- Scientific research
- Photographic documentation