The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on Shifting of Attributes - a Fundamental Feature in Thorvaldsen

The two drawings—Sketch for a “Freedom” Monument, c. 1800, C6r and D1590 —are variants of the same motif. That they are visual representations of the Roman republic is proposed by Schoch, op. cit., pp. 363-365.
Because the purpose of the drawings remains uncertain, their motif has not been identified with certainty. Nevertheless, they have been regarded as allegories of freedom from the museum’s earliest days. Cf. J. M. Thiele’s handwritten list of Thorvaldsen’s drawings at Thorvaldsens Museum: Müller, op. cit., p. 81 and Thiele, op. cit., p. 49.
Olsen, op. cit., p. 70, suggests that the two drawings are sketches of a monument to victory and freedom, which was briefly discussed in 1806. For more on this, see the Related Article on the subject.
What is more: on the basis of his questionable connoisseurship, Olsen asserts that one of the drawings, D1590, cannot have been drafted by Thorvaldsen. Despite their stylistic differences, however, the two drawings’ similarities in motif are so great that they clearly belong together, whoever the actual draftsman may have been.

Last updated 24.03.2015