Bet you didn’t know that Casanova has a presence in Hilversum, The Netherlands!
In front of the theater stands a statue known as “The Actor.” The sculptor, Gabriel Sterk, designed the piece at the request of a friend of mine, back in the 1970s. Originally, the statue was meant to depict Giacomo Casanova and stand in Venice’s Campo San Samuele, in front of the church where he was baptized, but permission was never granted. My friend has a small copy, which has the name “Casanova” cast on it.
The large statue shown below ended up in Hilversum. I wonder how many people walk by it and never know that it was inspired by admiration for Casanova?
Now you are in on this secret!
The irony here is that Casanova was never employed as an actor. His parents both were, and they did what they could to ensure that their son would not follow in their footsteps. In his memoirs Casanova writes that his grandfather “thought an actor an abomination.” Then just before Casanova’s father died, he made his wife Zanetta “swear that she would bring none of his children up for the stage, on which he never would have appeared if he had not been driven to it by an unfortunate passion”–the love of Zanetta. Zanetta was a celebrated actress and supported her children on her earnings and with patronage, but Casanova never did act–at least not in plays.