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As of 25 October 2019, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano will present the exhibition Canova. I volti ideali, a unique journey that reconstructs for the first time the genesis and evolution of the famous "ideal heads" by Antonio Canova, the peculiar and successful line of work dedicated to the many different forms of female beauty that the artist focused on at the height of his career.

The exhibition, curated by Omar Cucciniello and Paola Zatti, is promoted and produced by the Culture Department of the Municipality of Milan, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano and the Electa publishing house, and it recounts the history of this genre through 37 works, 24 of which were made by Canova. Said works include 5 sculptures that have never been exhibited in Italy before, such as the herm of Corinne and the Muse of the Kimbell Art Museum collection.

The works on display come from the main Italian museums (Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Canovian Gypsotheque in Possagno, Gallery of Modern Art of Turin, National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Correr Museum in Venice) and international ones (State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Musée des Beaux Arts in Lyon, Musée Fabre in Montpellier).

In the last twelve years of his activity, during which he was the most famous and requested sculptor in Europe, Antonio Canova focused his attention on a series of female effigies of ideal characters that immediately became popular among both his clients and the critics of the time. The exhibition is dedicated to these sculptures, which Canova himself called "ideal heads".

The exhibition presents the different versions of the same subject made by Canova, especially the Vestal, three versions of which were made and brought together here for the first time.

The exhibition features works by the Neo-classicist master, but it also offers valuable comparisons with works ranging from antiquity to the present day, which on the one hand show the models from which the sculptor took his cue, while on the other highlight the universal value of his art. These works include the ancient sculptures included in the Farnese collection (which Canova saw in Naples), Tuscan frescoes dating back to the 15th century, the works of sculptors who followed on the wake of their master's classicism in the 19th century (such as Raffaele Monti or Pompeo Marchesi), but also 20th century art and sculpture by Adolfo Wildt and Giulio Paolini.

Press release (ITA)

Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Milano
via Palestro 16 - 20121 Milano

Tuesday – Sunday 9 am – 7.30 pm
Last admission 1 hour before closing
Monday closed

•  Full-price ticket   € 10.00
•  Reduced-price ticket  €  8.00
•  Special reduced-price ticket  € 5.00
Tuesday – Sunday from 4:30 p.m. onwards admission allowed only to the exhibition with a € 5.00 ticket to the exhibition.

For details, see  Hours and Admission


Within the framework of the #canovamilano project for the two exhibitions Canova / Thorvaldsen. La nascita della scultura moderna, hosted by the Gallerie d'Italia, and Canova. I volti ideali, hosted by the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM), a two-fold discount is provided: the entry ticket to the first exhibition you visit will entitle you to a reduced entry ticket to the second exhibition.

Guided tours and educational activities - Ad Maiora
Booking required for all groups.
Info and booking: | 02-39469837; alternatively, fill in the online application form available on the website

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of concerts, educational activities and tours organised by the museum.