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Unknown artist, Drawing after Antonio Canova's 'Sleeping Nymph'

Drawing after Antonio Canova's 'Sleeping Nymph', before December 1820

Unknown artist

RA Collection: Art

A pencil sketch of Antonio Canova's sculpture 'The Sleeping Nymph' (c.1820-1822; Victoria & Albert Museum).

Canova sent this drawing to the celebrated portraitist Sir Thomas Lawrence in a letter dated December 16th 1820. He stated that he had 'had a little drawing made from the Sleeping Nymph, and, in compliance with your request, I inclose [sic] it in this letter. I must, however, declare, that it will afford you but a poor idea of my work, of which it is certainly not an accurate representation; but I knew of no one who could execute a design in the masterly and graceful style which is so peculiarly yours. However, your fancy will supply the defects of the drawing. I do not say this to exalt the merit of my work; but merely for the sake of being sincere with you, and to give you to understand, that the little outline sketch might have been better, and more faithful to the original'.

The drawing was probably made by one of Canova's studio assistants.

Object details

Drawing after Antonio Canova's 'Sleeping Nymph'
Original attributed to
Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822)
before December 1820
Object type
Pencil on paper

145 mm x 222 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
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