The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Neo-Antique Pyramids in Denmark

  • Oscar Reutersvärd, arkivet.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk, 1989
  • This is a re-publication of the summary of the article: Oscar Reutersvärd: ‘Neo-Antique Pyramids in Denmark’, in: Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum (Communications from the Thorvaldsens Museum) p. 1989, p. 63-71.
    For a presentation of the article in its original appearance in Danish, please see this facsimile scan.

The author shows how Copenhagen and the city s Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts were an important European centre for the secularized, Neo-Classicistic ideology in the 1770s and for the next five decades. Visible proof of this are the approximately thirty tomb pyramids which were planned, and in eight cases also erected, in the form of three-dimensional monuments or wall reliefs. In 1778, Jens Bang, a strong-principled Neo-Classicist, made a draft of a tomb monument (pyramid No. 96) in a morbid, non-Christian spirit which was later adopted by the sepulchral architecture of the revolutionary age. According to the author, Bang designed the splendid fix monument and its anticipation (No. 118). A series of ambitious designs for a royal mausoleum, possibly to be erected in Copenhagen, was made by Peter Meyn. Other originators of the style were J.Wiedewelt, a friend of Winckelmann’s, who created the most magnificent monument of all (No. 109), and C. F. Stanley. The epoch ended with utopian sketches by Thorvaldsen (Nos.gg-102) and his pupil H. E. Freund (No, 122).

Last updated 11.05.2017