Monument to Clement 13.
Engraving. 750 x 477 mm
Works, relating to this work: Antonio Canova, Monument to Clement 13., 1792, marble, Saint Peter's, RomeEnlarge photo
Religion is represented by the female figure holding the cross in Canova’s papal monument – reproduced in this print. Religion is of central importance in a papal context. And Religion also attracts a great deal of attention in the monument: the figure is relatively large; she is placed well to the front of the deep monument, and she is even taking a step forward. In addition, however, Religion is distinctive by virtue of the tall, slender cross and Canova’s solution to the problem of how to create a halo on a figure standing alone. So it is easy to recognise Canova’s Religion in Thorvaldsen’s drawing (inv. no. C219r) from 1820. And the interest thus shown by Thorvaldsen for this element in Canova’s monument derives partly from the fact that the architect of Christiansborg Palace Chapel, C.F. Hansen (1756-1845), had asked Thorvaldsen to model a figure for the Palace Chapel, a figure that was similarly to represent religion. However, Thorvaldsen never proceeded further than to the pencil sketch. The commission was changed in that Thorvaldsen was instead asked to make the statues for Copenhagen’s Cathedral Church of Our Lady.