Over recent months I have begun to turn the corner to my next major project: an exhibition focused on the terracotta models of Antonio Canova, the preeminent sculptor working in Europe during the age of Napoleon. The idea for the exhibition was born years ago. As I basked in the success of Bernini: Sculpting in Clay, my co-curator, Tony Sigel, and I wondered whether there could ever be a sequel. Canova was the obvious answer—the only other sculptor in Italian history who modeled with comparable panache and whose surviving œuvre of terracotta models was as substantial. Years ended up passing before the idea was injected with new life. In 2018 word reached us that the Museo Canova in Possagno, Italy, might be willing to lend its collection of Canova models—the largest in the world—to the United States for the purposes of realizing a comprehensive exhibition of his models. How the deal evolved (and continues to evolve) must wait a future post. But the planning for the exhibition is now well advanced, with numerous research trips already taken. The photograph above is from one of those, taken by Sigel during a recent week we spent at the Museo Canova. Representing a detail of Canova’s model of Adam and Eve with the Dead Abel, it captures the minimalist quality of his modeling style—how with barely more than series of deftly placed tool marks Canova was able to turn a mass of clay into an image of haunting grief.