Antonio Canova's famous Venus Italica was commissioned as a replacement for the famous Medici Venus which had been seized by Napoleon in 1802 and removed to the Louvre. The Medici Venus (see similar, the Capitoline Venus) is itself a 1st Century BC copy of a work by Cleomenes of Athens.
The Venus Italica has been considered one of Canova's most subtle and complex creations, refusing to copy the stolen venus and to give it his signature Neoclassical style.
"When I saw this divine work of Canova," wrote the poet Ugo Foscolo in 1811, "I sighed with a thousand desires, for really, if the Medici Venus is a most beautiful goddess, this is a most beautiful woman."
Due to this popularity, a number of replicas are made. Interestingly, instead of copying directly from the antique, Canova would form the clay model from which plaster casts were made, he considered this the original work of art.