Antonio Canova Italian
Commissioned by John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley
This is a variant of the Reclining Venus with Cupid, now in Buckingham Palace, which was made for Lord Cawdor in 1814 and ceded by him to the Prince Regent. Our work, commissioned by the fourth earl of Darnley, was completed by Canova's assistents after his death and delivered to the earl at Cobham Hall in Kent in 1824. The original plaster model for the Naiad, completed in 1817, is in the Gipsoteca di Possagno. Compositional prototypes include Canova's Pauline Borghese as Venus Victrix and an ancient Hermaphrodite, both in the Borghese Gallery, Rome. Numerous slight indentations throughout the marble may be visible remains of the pointing system.
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