Antonio Canova was born in the Veneto and apprenticed there to a local sculptor. In 1768 he moved to Venice, where he studied casts of antique statues and established a studio. His move to Rome in 1780 enabled him to study classical monuments and brought him into contact with scholars and connoisseurs. He was made a Cavaliere by the Pope in 1801, by which time he was one of the most famous and sought-after artists in Europe. The following year he was called to Paris by Napoleon and embarked on a series of portraits of the Bonaparte family. In 1800 he became a member of the Accademia di San Luca, the main artistic institution in Rome. He was elected its President in 1810 and Perpetual President in 1814. He died in Venice, aged 64.
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