Canova’s Washington Returns to the U.S. at the Frick Collection

Jun 28, 2018 268


Visitors to the Frick Collection will encounter an exhibition exalting the only work Antonio Canova (1757-1822) created for the United States — a full-length statue of George Washington, on view until September 23.

“Thomas Jefferson, believing that no American sculptor was up to the task, recommended Canova, then one of Europe’s most celebrated artists,” the Frick says. “The first and only work Canova created for America, the statue depicted the nation’s first president in ancient Roman garb, per Jefferson’s urging, drafting his farewell address to the states. It was unveiled to great acclaim in 1821, and people traveled from far and wide to see it. Tragically, only a decade later, a fire swept through the State House, reducing the statue to just a few charred fragments.”

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