The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on Jason and the Hope Commission

Cf. Doris and Peter Walser-Wilhelm, Bonstettiana. Briefkorrespondanzen Karl Viktor von Bonstettens und seines Kreises, vol. IX/I, Göttingen 2002, p. 411: Thorwaldsen unser Landsmann – entschiedenes Genie zu Heroen gestalten – Sein Jason wovon Er das Modell 11/2 Lebensgröβe vollendet hatte u[nd] weil es zu Groβ zum ausbrennen war u[nd] Er kein Geld zum abformen einmal hatte zerschmeiβen muβte – jetzt in /5/4 Tagen wieder aufgerichtet – voll Geist Kraft u[nd] Bewegung – schöner Kopf Haar u[nd] Ohren steht fest auf Seinen Beinen (welches Canovas Helden nie u[nd] selten die neüen thun)... [Our countryman Thorwaldsen—a resolute genius for sculpting heroes—his Jason, of which he had completed a model of one-and-a-half times life-size, [and which] he had once destroyed, because it was too large for kiln-baking [and because] he had no money to have it cast—this he now rebuilt in 4 days—full of spirit, force, and motion—a beautiful head, hair [and] ears, standing firm on its feet (which Canova’s heroes never do, [and] the new ones only rarely)…”] Friederike Brun must, however, have been mistaken with respect to the size of the first clay model, which she here represents as having been in one-and-a-half life size; see earlier in the present article, where Thorvaldsen’s own statements are cited to the effect that the first clay model was produced in natural size, i.e., life size.

Last updated 21.06.2014