The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on Januar 1797

The words are difficult to decipher. Thiele I, p. 74 thinks that Thorvaldsen intended to write “Pallas’s Støtte”.
However, Thorvaldsens is more likely to have meant “Paulus’ Støtte”, i.e. a statue of Paul the Apostle precisely because he had seen two such statues during the excursion to Mdina and Rabat on Malta 26.12.1797. In Rabat there is a sculpture of Paul in St. Paul’s Church and another in St. Paul’s Grotto. The latter marble statue is by the Italian baroque sculptor Melchiorre Cafà (1636-67).
See Pavels’ description of the two statues in his diary (the printed version, p. 53). Pavels emphasizes Cafà’s sculpture: “In the grotto is his [Paul’s] statue in marble, very well executed by Caffa.” This positive reference might reflect Thorvaldsen’s attitude and explain why the sculptor himself finds it worth mentioning Paul’s “statue” here.

Last updated 31.07.2017