A Pair of 19thC Faux Marble Plaster Lions; After Antonio Canova (1757-1822)

Origin: Probably Italian
Period: Mid/Late 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
Width: 9.5”
Height: 5”
Depth: 3.75”  (all at extremities)

After Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822), the well-proportioned painted and parcel gilded plaster models of recumbent lions, finished to imitate Siena yellow marble, one sleeping and one vigilant, on plinth bases lined with leather, and surviving from the nineteenth century.
The sculptures suffer from old chipped losses to the finishes making them decorative, though there are no major flaws and no cracks or restoration present. We have refrained from cleaning them so they do have dust residue to their crevices.

These lions were originally sculpted by Antonio Canova (Italian, 1757-1822) as a pair in a larger scale for the tomb of Pope Clement XIII in St. Peter's Basilica. As a pair the sleeping lion is symbolic of the Pope's moderation; and the vigilant lion, represents his energetic work. Usually seen in marble, bronze or stone, one rarely sees these lions in this finish so they are a nice decorative alternative.

A very decorative pair of treasures for any table top.