Canova Crouching Lion
In the early 19th century a new interest in modern sculpture in the classical style developed, centred on the work of the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.
In Britain, his greatest patron was the 6th Duke of Devonshire whose gallery survives at the Chatsworth in Derbyshire.
Many British collectors developed a taste for classical sculpture during the Grand Tour that they took through Europe as young men.
On their return, they commissioned specially designed settings for the sculpture they had bought, either in their London or their country houses.
These reproductions were moulded directly from originals in a French private collection which were acquired around 1810 from the Canova workshop in Rome. The original lions were created by the Italian artist, Antonio Canova (1757-1822).
They were created in 1792 for the Monumental tomb of Pope Clement XIII in St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome.