Atelier Canova

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Atelier Canova



Via Delle Colonnette, 26A, Rome, Italy

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Atelier Canova is situated in the heart of Rome's historic city center, just a few blocks from the Spanish Steps and the legendary Via Margutta, known for it's antique shops and art galleries. We are located on the second and top floor, of a landmark building where the famed neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova once worked. The studio has perfect north-lit windows, high ceilings with a skylight, a small balcony, and can comfortably accommodate a maximum of five students per class. The atelier offers a study program which suits a full time or part time schedule and caters to all levels of experience. We are the only art school in Rome that offers classical training and instruction and critiques may be given in Italian or English.  


To view a pdf of all workshops, please click here.

Part Time Schedule

Students who wish to develop their skills in one particular genre or those visiting Italy for an extended vacation, may choose to enroll in a weekend or two week intensive workshop. We offer a variety of short term weekend course options ranging from figure or cast drawing, to still life and portrait painting; a total of 12 - 45 hours of class time.

Intensive workshops offer more in-depth study opportunities, and typically run for a two week block. These courses are held every morning and afternoon from Monday to Friday; a total of 60 hours of class time. Students may select from both studio based and/or plein air intensive workshop options. Studio based workshops include still life and portrait painting classes. Plein air painting workshops are conducted on the streets and piazzas of Rome ("Cityscapes"), and further afield in private villas in the Tuscan countryside.

Full Time Schedule
The Formal Course

Students based in Rome may choose to enroll in the regular academic year curriculum, meeting four days a week for classes, and working on their own projects and visiting museums, in their spare time. This formal course is an adaptation of the training Smith received during her time in Florence and New York, and encompasses both drawing and painting. It runs from November to May. This is a flexible program of study and students may begin at any time during this period and work at their own pace. The Atelier Canova specializes in two drawing classes: The Charles Bargue Drawing Course - ‘Cours De Dessin’ (*see below) and a figure drawing class - ‘Disegno Dal Vero’. These introductory classes are designed to equip the students with competent drawing skills and the ability to simplifying complex subject matter. They also acquire a strong understanding of value and tonal relationships; two of the most important elements needed to guide them easily into the painting program.All students will begin the formal course by studying the Bargue lithographs, first in pencil, then in charcoal. After which, they then move on to three dimensional work, through a series of cast drawings, initially in charcoal and concluding with charcoal and white chalk. The drawing program is then completed with a grisaille painting. This is a translation of the original charcoal and white chalk drawing, into a black and white painting.After this point, the student moves on to the painting section of the program. The skills acquired throught the drawing course are then applied to color firstly by completing several ‘limited palette’ still life paintings, and eventually moving on to figure and portrait painting using an ‘extended palette’.

Please read more about our limited palette painting classes in a recent American Artist magazine article:

*‘COURS DE DESSIN’ (The Charles Bargue Drawing Course)This class is based on Gerald M. Ackerman and Graydon Parrish publishing, ‘Charles Bargue with the Collaboration of Jean-Lon Grme‘, ACR edition, 2003. ‘This complete reprint of the fabled but rare Drawing Course (Cours de Dessin) of Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme, originally published in Paris in the 1860's and 1870's, was used to train aspiring artists in the fundamentals of drawing. With nearly 200 masterful lithographs, aspiring artists worldwide, including Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, used it to hone their skills. While the book has 19th-century roots, it continues to serve artists, art teachers, illustrators, draftsman, students of art history, and those who work in classical art ateliers.‘ Dahesh Museum, 2009 ‘DISEGNO DAL VERO’This figure drawing class meets once or twice a week. The students work in pencil or charcoal, depending on their skill level. This class is designed to supplement the Cours De Dessin program, but is also open to the general public as a sketch class and an opportunity to work from life through long poses of up to a total of 12 hours.

About the Director

Andrea J. Smith, is Australian and has fifteen years of experience teaching representational drawing and painting. She trained and taught at the Florence Academy of Art for six years. After winning the coveted ‘Alice Bale Travelling Prize‘ in 1999, she then moved to New York and in 2003 she co-founded and was the sole instructor, at the Harlem Studio of Art. During this time she also taught at The New York Academy of Art. In 2008 she returned to Italy and founded the Atelier Canova in Rome. Her work has been widely exhibited in Australia, Europe and America and since 2001 has been represented by the prestigious Forum Gallery in New York ( To see more of Andrea J. Smith's work, please visit:

Atelier Canova is registered with The Harlem Studio of Art, New York as a 501(c)-3 U.S. nonprofit educational program.For detailed information on the workshop courses and schedules, please visit:

Course languages (Check multiple if applicable) English
Accommodation No

Atelier Canova

Via Delle Colonnette, 26A

Rome, 186, Italy

Portrait Workshop: Camilla by Andrea Smith

Mandarins by Andrea Smith

Ponte Sant'Angelo by Andrea Smith

Melissa by Andrea Smith

A student participating in a Still Life Workshop

North wall of the Atelier Canova building

Drawing at the Pamphilj Museum

Roman Cityscapes Workshop