National Geographic : 1957 Apr
Napoleon's Sister Modeled for Canova's Statue of Venus One of Rome's finest art col lections fills the Borghese Gal lery, a magnificent 17th-century villa on the Pincian Hill. The Borghese collection would have been even larger had not Napo leon carted off some of the best items to the Louvre in Paris. Prince Camillo, one of the Borgheses, married Pauline Bonaparte. Here Pauline is pre served in marble as Venus Vic trix, who holds the golden apple that signified her triumph in a beauty contest involving Mi nerva and Juno. The artist, Antonio Canova, came from a family of stone masons. While a lad he worked as a waiter in a canova di vino, or wine shop, from which he took his name. A lion he carved in butter caught the attention of a wealthy diner. Fame and fortune quickly followed.