The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 19.10.1805

Even though it is not clear what two figures Abildgaard is referring to here, it must be two statues either for Christiansborg Palace or for the new Town Hall and Courthouse in Copenhagen. Both buildings were designed by C.F. Hansen.
Abildgaard had earlier told Thorvaldsen that there was talk in Copenhagen of commissioning decorations for Christiansborg Palace from him, see letter dated 17.1.1804.
C.F. Hansen, however, did not commission works for the two buildings until 31.12.1806. The only two statues mentioned here were to represent “the first two lawmakers, Solon and Lycurgus” for the façade of the townhall and courthouse.
Abildgaaard could be referring to these two figures, which were never realized, but it is also quite possible that there was talk in 1805 about asking Thorvaldsen to create “two figures of heroic size” for Christiansborg Palace. However, Hansen changed his mind about Thorvaldsen’s part in the decoration of Christianborg: In the commission letter dated 31.12.1806, Hansen did not want statues by Thorvaldsen for Christiansborg, but in 1804 it was discussed whether to ask the sculptor to execute four colossal statues for the palace façade, see letter dated 28.12.1804 and the related article about the Commission for Christiansborg Palace.

Last updated 12.02.2018