The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Thorvaldsen and the Land of His Birth

  • Egill Snorrason,, 1989
  • This is a re-publication of the summary of the article: Egill Snorrason: ‘Thorvaldsen and the Land of His Birth’, in: Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum (Communications from the Thorvaldsens Museum) 1989, p. 147-152.
    For a presentation of the article in its original appearance in Danish, please see this facsimile scan.
    For a presentation of this English summary in its original appearance, please see this facsimile scan.

The famous Danish scientist, H.C. Ørsted (1777-1851), discovered in 1845, a year after Thorvaldsen’s death, that it was as if Denmark – seen with a foreigner’s eyes — had had nothing to do with Thorvaldsen except give birth to him. Italy took the honour for his art and England for giving him his first encouragement.
In continuation of an article on “The Danish Character” (1844), Ørsted had endeavoured to define the Danish national characteristics, and in an article on “Thorvaldsen and the Land of His Birth” (1845), he demonstrated, in his typically meticulous way, that no matter how many memories of Thorvaldsen are scattered around the various countries of Europe, only Denmark has such living memories of its beloved son.
Mrs. Dyveke Helsted has, with her many excellent publications and her inspiring exhibitions, succeeded so well in setting off Thorvaldsen’s life, art, and many interests.

Last updated 11.05.2017