Bertel Thorvaldsen

(redirected from Thorwaldsen)
Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to Thorwaldsen: Bertel Thorvaldsen

Thorvaldsen, Bertel

 

(also B. Thorwaldsen). Born Nov. 13 (or 19), 1768 (or 1770), in Copenhagen; died there Mar. 24, 1844. Danish sculptor.

Thorvaldsen, one of the greatest representatives of late classicism, studied at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen from 1781 to 1793. From 1797 to 1838 he lived in Naples and Rome, where he studied classical sculpture and the works of Raphael. Thorvaldsen became president of the Academy of Saint Luke in Rome in 1825 and of the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen in 1833. He worked predominantly in marble.

Like the sculptures of A. Canova, Thorvaldsen’s works tend toward the idealization and cool detachment characteristic of academic European art of the 19th century. They are distinguished for their masterful use of marble, strict compositional harmony, and static, restrained serenity. Notable examples are the statues Jason (1802–3; Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen) and MercuryWith a Flute (1818) and the monumental frieze The Campaign of Alexander the Great (1818; the Villa Carlotta, on Lake Como).

Thorvaldsen also executed a number of portrait statues, including E. A. Osterman-Tolstaia (c. 1815–19; the Hermitage, Leningrad). His main works are housed in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen.

REFERENCES

Lunacharskii, A. V. “Torval’dsen.” In his Stat’i ob iskusstve. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Meddelelser fra Thorwaldsens Museum. Copenhagen, 1929. (Publication in progress.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Hogan assured his international reputation in 1829 with the Dead Christ; thereafter, his creations were snapped up by Irish bishops visiting his Rome studio, and Hogan was pronounced by the egotistical Danish sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen as "the best sculptor I leave after me in Rome." (13) Hogan's biographer John Turpin has remarked that Hogan's work must be interpreted against the "background of resurgent ultramontane Catholicism which was being introduced to Ireland -- a country which lacked fine Catholic churches, art works or a splendid liturgical tradition since the Reformation." (14)
There are two engravings based on Raphael (a series of saints), (26) the Annibale Carracci previously mentioned, a Poussin, and then one work each by Ludovico Carracci, Ghirlandaio, Fra Bartholomeo, Tenerani, Daniele da Volterra, Francesco Duquesnoy, Anna de Fratnich-Salvotti, Thorwaldsen, and Pelagio Palagi.
The interior is fundamentally a simple barrel-vaulted nave which terminates in an apse where light pours down on Thorwaldsen's sculpture of the Saviour.
Only by labor, by adaptation to ever new operations, by inheritance of the resulting special development of muscles, ligaments, and over longer periods of time, bones as well, and the ever renewed employment of these inherited improvements in new, more and more complicated operations, has the human hand attained the high degree of perfection that has enabled it to conjure into being the pictures of Raphael, the statues of Thorwaldsen, the music of Paganini.
Kasson includes American sculptors of the neo-classical school influenced by Bertel Thorwaldsen and Antonio Canova.
But revelation came with a visit to that strange and resonant polychromatic museum building in Copenhagen designed by Thorwald BindesboU to house the work of Thorwaldsen. Stoddart was there to do research for a never-to-be-completed thesis and, confronted by the plaster figures and busts by the neo-classical sculptor, he was silenced--and knew what his life's work must be.
In the vestibule is to be a figure of St Augustine of Hippo, over life-size in marble, which is Hellenistic in style but pays homage to Thorwaldsen's figure of Christ.
The grandfather, Jacob Christian Jacobsen (1811-1887), amassed sculptures by his contemporary and compatriot Bertel Thorwaldsen, a Neo-Classicist akin to John Flaxman in Attic dexterity, but lacking Flaxman's sharpness and tightness of design.
It may be fair to say that in the age of Canova and Thorwaldsen, or of Schadow and Rauch, one needed more than just talent.
by the ever-renewed employment of these inherited improvements in new, more and more complicated operations, has the human hand attained the high degree of perfection that has enabled it to conjure into being the pictures of Raphael, the statues of Thorwaldsen, the music of Paganini.
While Flaxman and Canova were almost exact contemporaries, at more than 10 years their junior Thorwaldsen inevitably found himself in their shadow.
But the careers of Thorwaldsen and Canova were more closely parallel.