Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

by Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Terracotta; 13 3/8 x 11 3/8 x 8 1/8 in. (34 x 29 x 20.5 cm). Museo di Roma, Palazzo Braschi, Rome, Italy.

by Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Graphite on paper; 3 1/8 x 4 in. (80 x 100 mm). Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa, Italy.

by Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Plaster; 31 1/2 x 18 1/8 x 26 3/4 in. (80 x 46 x 68 cm). Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno, Italy.

by Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Plaster; 20 1/8 x 9 x 17 3/4 in. (51 x 23 x 45 cm). Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno, Italy.

by Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Plaster; 31 1/2 x 18 1/8 x 25 5/8 in. (80 x 46 x 65 cm). Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno, Italy.

by Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Plaster; 66 1/2 x 39 3/8 x 54 3/4 in. (169 x 100 x 139 cm). Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno, Italy.

after Antonio Canova (1757—1822)

Plaster; 2' 8-11/16" x 4' 7-1/2" (83.1 cm x 141.0 cm). North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, NC.

By attacking slavery more fiercely than ever before, Revolutionary Americans freed tens of thousands of slaves. But the Revolution’s libertarian and egalitarian message had perverse consequences. It forced those Southerners who chose to retain slavery to fall back on the alleged racial deficiencies of blacks as a justification for an institution that hitherto they had taken for granted and had never before needed to justify. The anti-slavery movement that arose out of the Revolution inadvertently produced racism in America.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)