At the foot of Monte Grappa, Possagno is dominated by the snow-white bulk of the Neoclassical Temple, designed by the celebrated Antonio Canova, an artist born in this city in 1757. The solemnity of the Doric colonnade and the elegance of the central body, inspired by the Pantheon, design a structure of timeless beauty.
Only the apse, in an elevated position as in basilicas, brings back the Christian dimension of the building, designed as a parish church and dedicated to the Trinity. Inside, Canova’s masterpieces can be admired: the bronze Pieta, the marble Self-Portrait, the plaster Metopes, the great Altarpiece of the high altar and the Tomb.
To get a thorough understanding of the great artist, his works and working method, a visit to the Gipsoteca is a must; inside are the plaster casts that Canova used as models to his marble sculptures. Under the wide barrel vault, the candid forms of the most famous works follow one another, making for an awe-inspiring view, culminating in the apse within which towers the grandiose model of Hercules and Lyca.
Particularly popular with millions of tourists is the Scarpa Wing, created by the famous Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa in 1957, where the collection of Canova’s terracotta Bozzetti, “prime” works that are among the most admired by critics and the public, finds an optimal home.
The house of Canova can also be visited in Possagno, inside which an exhibition of his collections has been established: paintings, engravings, drawings, some marbles and even the artist’s work tools and some clothes.