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The Temple of Canova in Possagno

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The Temple of Canova in Possagno

Possagno is a small town in the province of Treviso famous throughout the world for being the birthplace of one of the greatest all-time sculptors, Antonio Canova.

Despite his international fame and the fact that he had moved to Rome, Canova always remained very attached to his birth town.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the old parish church of Possagno badly needed restoring... Canova had been repeatedly invited by the community to finance the costs of the works and so, already before 1812, had presented a project to rebuild the church.

The family heads, however, were reluctant to support the huge costs of the new building. Canova took therefore the decision in 1818 to rebuild the church of Possagno completely at his own expense. His idea was to create a grandiose circular building with an atrium or pronaos, a clear reference to the Pantheon in Rome, but with Doric columns, such as those of the Parthenon in Athens.

On the 11th of July of that year, the inhabitants of Possagno cheered their compatriot for the laying of the first stone.

Canova never managed to see his work completed because he died on 13th October, 1822. According to his will, the work was entrusted to his half-brother Giovanni Battista Sartori and, in the following years, the original project underwent some changes, also to make extra room to house the Pietà sculpture and the artist's tomb.

Finally, in 1830, the temple was concluded and on 7th May, 1832 it was solemnly consecrated by the Sartori himself, who had meanwhile become bishop. The fact that it is dedicated to the Trinity is not accidental, but is a reference to the altarpiece of the main altar painted by Canova himself for the old parish church.

The beautiful town of Possagno is one of the legs of our private tour of the Treviso area from Venice ... Book your excursion online and visit the city of the great Antonio Canova with convenient and private transfers to and from Venice!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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