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The Child Canova Modeling a Lion Out of ButterPinckney Marcius

Pinckney Marcius-Simonscirca 1885

Chrysler Museum of Art

Chrysler Museum of Art
Norfolk, United States

This painting takes us back to a fabled scene from the 1760s, where preparations for a feast are underway in the kitchen of an Italian palace. One of the servants, a 10-year-old boy, has volunteered to carve a butter sculpture of a lion as the centerpiece for the banquet table. The cooks marvel at his lifelike creation, clearly the work of a child prodigy. This little artist grew up to be the world's leading sculptor, Antonio Canova (1757-1822), and his statues of warriors, nymphs, and lions inspired Hiram Powers, William Henry Rinehart, and dozens of later artists to study marble-carving and embrace the Neoclassical style.

2014.14

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  • Title: The Child Canova Modeling a Lion Out of ButterPinckney Marcius
  • Creator: Pinckney Marcius-Simons
  • Date Created: circa 1885
  • Physical Dimensions: 23 3/4 x 29 in. (60.3 x 73.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of the Mowbray Arch Society, 2014
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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