biography of Dominique CANOVA (c.1800-1868)

Birth place: Milan, Italy

Death place: New Orleans, LA

Addresses: NYC, 1825-? (presumably); Convent, LA, c.1837-39; New Orleans, 1838 and 1840-68

Profession: Painter, teacher of painting and drawing, lithographer

Work: New Orleans: St. Alphonsus Church; St. Louis Cathedral (attributed)

Comments: In 1825 a Dominico Canova was working in NYC for the lithographer Anthony Imbert and prepared several of the illustrations for Cadwallader D. Colden's Memoir of the Erie Canal celebrations. This is likely the Dominique Canova who was described in contemporay New Orleans newspapers as having returned" to New Orleans in 1840 after three years of teaching at Jefferson College (in Convent, La.). Dominique Canova had previously advertised in New Orleans in 1838 (during a break from his teaching) as a portrait painter. His return to the city in 1840 was permanent and he became known as a painter of ornament, murals, and frescoes. Contemporary accounts reveal a number of commissions, the first of which was in 1841 for a series of frescoes on the interior of the St. Louis Exchange Hotel, for which he collaborated with A. Pinoli (see entry). He also did paintings and decorations for several churches, including the bishop's church (now Our Lady of Victory) in 1846, and St. Alphonsus Church in 1866. He is also reputed to have painted the decoration for St. Louis Cathedral and ornament and murals in a number of private New Orleans homes.

Sources: G&W; Colden, Memoir Prepared at the Request of the Committee of the Common Council of the City of New York, 362, 379, 389, 393 (illus. opp. pp. 262, 343, 378, 388); New Orleans Bee, Jan. 8 and March 1, 1840 (cited by Delgado-WPA); Commercial Bulletin, April 5, 1841. New Orleans CD 1841, 1850-56, 1860-61, 1866. More recently, see Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 65, 66, which includes extensive contemporary references; and Gerdts, Art Across America, vol. 2: 100."