The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Back to 1839


Awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog as the first artist ever. Thorvaldsen, however, is not presented with the cross until the following day, his birthday 19.11.1839 at Nysø.

Primary sources

  • Letter dated 19.11.1839 from Ordenskapitlet to Thorvaldsen.
  • Letter dated 20.11.1839 from Ordenskapitlet to Thorvaldsen.
  • Rigmor Stampe (ed.): Baronesse Stampes Erindringer om Thorvaldsen, Copenhagen 1912, p. 47 (mentions that the cross was forwarded from Copenhagen; the exact date is not mentioned, and Stampe claims that Thorvaldsen was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of Dannebrog – a title, which he had already been awarded 1.8.1829).
  • Carl Frederik Wilckens: Træk af Thorvaldsens Konstner- og omgangsliv, samlede til Familielæsning, Copenhagen 1874, p. 20-22 (relates that the king forwarded an extra Grand Cross to Thorvaldsen’s Copenhagen home in case he should appear there on the 19.11.1839).

Other references

  • Thiele IV, p. 104.
  • Per Thornit: “Tegn paa udvortes Erkjendelse”… Bertel Thorvaldsen og H.C. Andersens ordener, [Copenhagen] 1979, p. 25-28.
  • Related Article: Thorvaldsen’s Honorary Titles

Last updated 28.12.2017