Tempio Canoviano

Via Padri Cavanis (Possagno)

The Tempio Canoviano or Temple of Canova is a Roman Catholic parish church built in a severe Neoclassical style, based on the designs of Antonio Canova. It is located on a hilltop in Possagno in the Province of Treviso.

Construction began in 1819, and was not completed till 1830. The temple was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and was completed after Canova's death in 1822 with modifications by Pietro Bosio and Giovanni Zardo along with Giannantonio Selva and Luigi Rossini. The architect was Giuseppe Segusini. The structure recalls the Pantheon of Rome. Much of the construction costs were borne by Canova. The sculptor is buried in the church.
The atrium or pronaos is nearly 28 metres (92 ft) in size, the diameter of the interior and height of the cupola, and contains 16 doric columns. The architrave bears the Latin inscription: DEO OPT MAX UNI AV TRINO (Temple dedicated to the Optimal God, one and three). The metopes were carved by pupils from stucco casts of Canova.
The altars contain canvases from shuttered churches and monasteries including by Luca Giordano (St Francis of Paola); Palma il Giovane (Jesus in Gesthemane); Giovanni de Sacchis called il Pordenone (Madonna of the Mercies); and Andrea Vicentino (Saints Sebastian; Francis of Assisi, Roch, Anthony with the Madonna and child and a glory of angels). The bronze sculpture of the Pietà was completed by Bartolomeo Ferrari, based on models by Canova. Above the altar is a Deposition painted by Canova.


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