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Pauline Borghese Marble Sculpture


Exceptional Carrara marble statue of Pauline Borghese including carved red/brown granite pedestal. This sculpture comes from the French ;Chateau de Mortefontaine, which was one of the many residences of the Bonaparte family. Originally, Emperor Napoleon commissioned the great Italian sculptor Antonio Canova for a sculpture of his beloved sister Pauline, the original masterpiece is today at the Galleria Borghese in Roma, Italy. Canova was at the height of his career and fame when he produced the monumental statue of Pauline called ;Venus Vietrix; holding the golden apple in her hand. We know for a fact, that when commissioning an artist for a piece of art, Napoleon would order several replicas in a smaller scale, to place in his different residences. Original Canova's masterpiece in marble immortalized the physical perfection of Pauline's incomparable beauty. Princess Pauline Borghese was born in Ajaccio, Corsica in 1780. She was Napoleon's favorite sister and was widely recognized as the most beautiful woman in Europe. She neither possessed nor professed any sense of modesty as she posed entirely in the nude in Paris for a medal in her honor. The preservation of her beauty became almost her religion and her radiance was regarded as unparalleled. Napoleon's death in 1821 marked the beginning of her beauty fading. On June 9, 1825 she ordered herself to be dressed in a resplendent court gown, her hair to be arranged as for an Imperial Ball, and her jewels placed, so she could look at herself in the mirror one last time. It is said that the mirror was still tightly gripped in Pauline's hand when her death came upon. The Borghese Art Collection and the Borghese Villa outside of Roma are now property of the Italian Government, while a portion of the art collection went to the Louvre in Paris. Our sculpture is not signed, but its provenance, its exceptional quality and incomparable grace, corroborate with the theory that it could be from Canova's Atelier or School.


  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
    19th Century
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 38 in. x W 15 in. x D 49 in.

    H 96.52 cm x W 38.1 cm x D 124.46 cm

  • Seller location
    Palm Beach, FL
  • Reference number

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Located in Palm Beach, FL
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