The Paolina Borghese is a neoclassical sculpture by Antonio Canova, executed between 1804 and 1808 and exhibited at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Paolina is depicted in the guise of a victorious Venus. The woman, in fact, in her left hand holds an apple that evokes the victory of Aphrodite in the judgment of Paris: the latter, in Greek mythology, had to choose who among the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite to assign a golden apple with on top engraved «To the most beautiful», and Paris granted it to the goddess of love.
The Paolina is languidly half-stretched out on a sofa equipped with a single armrest, on which she rests her right arm. Her bust is naked, while the lower part of her body is wrapped in a light dress that makes Paolina modest and sensual at the same time, charging the work of great eroticism. From a technical point of view, the statue of Paolina Borghese is characterised by the balance between horizontal and vertical lines and by a calibrated alternation of solids and voids. The static nature of the sculpture is balanced by the twist of Paolina’s face, which lends itself to a three-quarter view; the whole sculpture is also set on a fluid and sinuous line which, starting from the legs of Paolina-Venus, flexes in the verticality of her bust.
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53 x 97 x 31 cm
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Certificato delle Belle Arti
Sculpture one of its kind and non-reproducible piece
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Approximately 5 weeks