Glossary


Adamo Tadolini (1788 – 1868):
Italian sculptor born in Bologna. After beginning his apprenticeship there, he went to Rome in 1813 and joined Canova’s workshop. He executed a number of replicas for Canova, whose influence can be seen in his work. A teacher of sculpture at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, he created mythological groups and funerary and public monuments.

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Alejandra Figueroa:
A Mexican photographer who has been working in France since 1992. Known for her highly personal approach to sculpture, she executed a series titled Pierres Vivantes (Living Stones) at the Louvre.

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ambrosia:
Together with nectar, ambrosia was the food of the gods. Any mortal to whom it was given automatically became divine.

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Apuleius:
Latin writer born in Madauros (now M’daourouch, in Algeria) around AD 123-125. The son of a magistrate, he studied rhetoric and literature in Rome, Carthage, and Athens and was initiated into various oriental mystery cults. He was the author of many philosophical treatises, but his most famous work is the tale The Metamorphoses. He died in Carthage around 170.

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assistant:
In sculpture, the assistant’s tasks include “roughing out”, the initial overall shaping of the stone.

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Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917):
One of France’s most famous sculptors. Rodin’s beginnings were far from easy: rejected by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he worked as a decorator, some of the time with Carrier-Belleuse. When the Salon refused his work, he left for Italy in 1875 and devoted himself in particular to the study of Michelangelo. Gradually he made a name for himself in France with his extraordinarily spirited style and his love of eloquent movement. In 1880 he began The Gates of Hell, a vast allegory of human passion whose 200-odd figures included the famed Thinker. He worked on this composition on until his death. From 1880 onward he was an international figure.

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Bénigne Gagneraux (1756 – 1795):
Born in Dijon, Gagneraux was the first winner of the States of Burgundy Rome Prize. Leaving for Italy at the age of twenty, he remained there until his premature death. He notably painted a ceiling in the Villa Borghese and received several major commissions from the King of Sweden. His oeuvre mostly comprises delicate, finely worked mythological and historical compositions.

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Calum Colvin:
Born in Glasgow in 1961. After taking a degree in sculpture, he went the Royal College of Art in London and studied photography. He is one of contemporary photography’s great innovators.

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Cupid:
Cupid, or Eros in Greek, is the god of love. He is usually depicted as a winged child or adolescent, wearing a quiver and holding a bow or an arrow. Often associated with Aphrodite, who is generally regarded as his mother, he triggers love by shooting his arrows.

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Félix Bracquemond (1833 – 1914):
This French painter and engraver first showed at the Salon in 1852. A participant in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, he taught engraving to Théodore Rousseau, Camille Corot, and Edouard Manet. His theoretical texts played a part in the revival of interest in engraving and printmaking.

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Francesco Chiarottini (1748 – 1796):
Painter and draftsman born in Cividale, Italy. In 1760 he enrolled at the Accademia in Venice, where his teachers included Domenico Tiepolo. He became famous for his imaginary landscapes of ancient ruins and his trompe-l’oeil works.

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Gaspare Landi (1756 – 1830):
Italian painter born in Piacenza. He went to Rome in 1781 and studied under Pompeo Batoni, the city’s leading painter. He became friends with Canova, whom he succeeded as director of the Accademia di San Luca. A talented portraitist, he worked in a neoclassical style tinged with naturalism.

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Herculaneum:
(Ercolano since 1969). This ancient Roman city east of Naples was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 and buried under volcanic mud. Its rediscovery during excavations in 1738, like that of nearby Pompeii, helped trigger neoclassicism throughout Europe.

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Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours (1752 – 1809):
Son of the French enamel painter Jacques Saint-Ours, who had emigrated to Switzerland, he studied at the Académie de Paris and with Jacques-Louis David in the atelier of Joseph-Marie Vien. He lived in Rome from 1780 to 1792, then returned to Geneva and remained there until his death. A staunch supporter of the French Revolution and neoclassicism, he painted works of ancient history, landscapes, and many portraits.

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John Deare (1759 – 1798):
English sculptor born in Liverpool. The son of a jeweler, as a child he showed a gift for sculpture. Winner of the Royal Academy Gold Medal in 1780, he left for Italy in 1785 and remained there until his death, carrying out numerous commissions for English collectors.

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luster:
To give marble a glossy, waxed-like appearance by repeated abrading and rubbing-back.

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Miletus:
Founded in Ionia (modern Turkey) by the Greeks in the 11th century BC, Miletus was an economically and culturally flourishing city. By the 6th century BC people were flocking from all over the Greek world, and beyond, to consult the oracle in the temple of Apollo there.

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nectar:
Nectar was the drink of the gods. Like ambrosia, it conferred immortality upon whoever consumed it.

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Olympus:
A mountain in northern Greece, between Thessaly and Macedonia, Olympus is the highest point in the country and often covered by clouds. In ancient Greece it was considered the residence of the gods.

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Psyche:
A Greek princess raised to the status of a goddess, Psyche is the personification of the soul. Her name means both “soul” and “butterfly”. In his tale The Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass, Apuleius recounts the legend of her love affair with Cupid.

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replica:
In sculpture, a work made from a model originally used by the master, with or without variations.

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toothed chisel:
Sculpting tool with a working edge of flat or pointed teeth, used for relatively fine work. It leaves light striations on the stone, which can be readily removed by sanding.

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Venus:
or Aphrodite for the ancient Greeks. Goddess of Love, Seduction, and Beauty, she was one of the twelve gods on Mount Olympus. Wife of Hephaestus (Vulcan), she had numerous affairs, notably with Ares (Mars). She was immensely powerful and cruelly jealous.

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Villa Carlotta:
Villa Carlotta was built on the shore of Lake Como, in northern Italy, in 1690. It was refurbished by the lawyer Giovanni Battista Sommariva (1760 – 1826), who filled it with sculptures, including several by Canova. The villa is now open to the public.

http://www.villacarlotta.it/sito/index.php

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Yusupov:
Prince Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov (1750 – 1831), senator, member of the Council of State (1823), Minister of the Imperial Court and Principalities and Director of Imperial Theaters, was the “Patron of the Arts of Russia” under Catherine II. He corresponded with Voltaire and built up one of Europe’s richest collections of paintings and objets d’art.

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Zephyr:
Son of Aeolus, the god of the winds, Zephyr is the personification of the west wind. In the legend of Cupid and Psyche he bears the young woman away toward the being whose face she must not see.

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