opera composer of the 1850s and his operas were received as proto nationalist

Opera composer of the 1850s and his operas were

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opera composer of the 1850s, and his operas were received as proto- nationalist fodder. He co-opted scenic talent, even deriving musical inspiration from visual imagery, and he was the first composer to specify the scenic effects required.Verdi’s choice of themes of struggle, virtue, and hope, along with an emphasis on the choral voice, strummed the chords of a nascent national consciousness. His libretti were often censored, but his music rose above the controls to become unofficial patriotic hymns.The political voice of the Italian opera is key to understanding the Romantic era in Italy.Architecture took many of its leads from scenography. It therefore may not be surprising that the most renowned building of the Romantic period in Italy was not conceived by an architect at all. antonio canova’s temple in possagno Giuseppe Verdi’s mythic status in the mid-nineteenth century is the product of an Italian cultural phenomenon linking the cult of indigenous genius to a collective consciousness of imminent nationhood.The phenomenon began with Antonio Canova. Canova, the neoclassical sculptor, had come to Rome in 1780, two years after Piranesi’s death. Selva took him to see the statues set up by Visconti in the Museo Pio-Clementino. Canova fell in with Anton Raffael Mengs at Villa Albani and with a circle of English artists on their Grand Tour, making the requisite visits to Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Paestum. He set up his studio near Piazza del Popolo in 1783. Canova’s fame was established with the Rezzonico tomb in Saint Peter’s, the project Piranesi felt entitled to, and continued in a series of sculptural masterworks. He was elected to the academy in 1800, decorated with the Sperone d’Oro by Pius VII, and made inspector of antiquities in 1802. Canova addressed Winckelmann’s noble antiquarianism and debated theoretical issues in letters to Giacomo Quarenghi. He was praised by Quatremère de Quincy, courted by Catherine the Great, and, despite his wariness of politics, appointed the official sculptor of Napoleon’s empire. 147 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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Canova’s great success was based upon work that exhibited a formal refinement infused with a delicate sensuality. His sculptures of Cupids, Psyches,Venuses, and graces were without rivals in supreme beauty. Canova drew from ancient models combining the features of an array of studied prototypes in a process called imitazione . His monumental statue groups, portraits, and tombs communicated heroic and sublime tones, lyric meditations on fame, greatness, tragedy, or death. Canova’s creative process is key to understanding the nature of Romantic-era art and architecture in Italy. His initial ideas were produced in drawings or clay or plaster figurines full of an inspired impulsiveness of creative genius.They were then meticulously executed in marble with the help of a workshop of technicians.Without compromising the initial immediacy, Canova achieved what contemporaries appreciated as a meditative serenity of ideal form—“the visible virtue of the soul,” as the artist once boasted to a friend.
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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