The Brother’s Løffler

Apart from works by Thorvaldsen himself, the Thorvaldsens Museum houses ten other art collections. In the collection of drawings, which is one of the largest, there are three small coloured tracings pasted into some sketchbooks. The books belonged to Carl Løffler, the decorative painter, later a teacher at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts. This article seeks to prove:

1. That these three small tracings were made directly from Antoni Romani’s well-known book: Le antiche camere esquiline delle Terme di Tito, Rome, 1822 (plates 8 and 9).

2. That neither Carl Løffler nor his previously unknown brother, Christian Frederik Løffler – who among other young Academy pupils helped to transfer the motif to the ceiling on the first floor corridor of the Thorvaldsen Museum — was responsible for these first drafts.

3. That, on the contrary, the tracings were made by the museum’s architect Michael Bindesbøll and are thus the only preserved first drafts by the latter containing the original model for the motif.

In addition to an account of the model, the tracings, and the composition and motifs of the corridor ceiling, the article throws light on Christian Frederik Løffler’s æuvre and life.

Last updated 11.05.2017