The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Thorvaldsens Museum - Museum and Mausoleum

  • Gertrud With,, 1998
  • This is a re-publication of the article:

    Gertrud With: ‘Thorvaldsens Museum – Museum and Mausoleum’, in: Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum (Communications from the Thorvaldsens Museum) p. 1998, p. 125-135.

    For a presentation of the article in its original appearance in Danish, please see this facsimile scan.


Approaching the concept of a combined museum and mausoleum, various examples are mentioned of architectural memorials in Europe, including some projects that were never completed, all of which in one way or another show similarities with Thorvaldsens Museum. These are Friedrich Gill/s 1797 proposal for a memorial to the popular hero Frederick II (1740-1786) of Prussia on the Leipziger Platz in Berlin; Walhalla on the Danube east of Regensburg, built 1830-42 by Leo von Klenze on behalf of King Ludwig I of Bavaria; Etienne Louis Boullée’s sketch for a combined museum and memorial from 1873; Schinkels Museum am Lustgarten now known as Altes Museum in Berlin; and last but not least, the memorial church and museum complex in Possagno near Venice, created for Thorvaldsen’s contemporary, the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Then there is a discussion of when the idea of placing Thorvaldsen’s grave in the Museum in Copenhagen arose, and who first had the idea. Finally, there is a consideration of Bindesbøll’s interest in symbolic architecture, including the design for the grave and the courtyard.

Last updated 11.05.2017