Commissioned by Giovan Battista Sommariva, the palamede, a sculptural work by antonio Canova, has always been considered one of the masterpieces of the Sommariva collection of the museum of Villa Carlotta.
Canova created the sculpture in his studio in Rome in 1803-1804 but due to the damage caused by a flood of the Tiber in 1805 the statue fell from its wooden base and broke in several places. compensation but the artist’s response was I will make another statue
Consequently, fearing the long time required for the execution of a new statue, Sommariva accepted that Canova would restore the Palamede.
In this work, Canova celebrates the ideal beauty of the young hero, accompanying it with iconographic attributes connected to the inventions attributed to him by the myth: the Greek letters, which we see engraved on the sheath of the short sword (parazonium) held in the right hand, and a pair of data, now lost, placed in the left hand.