The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on The country bumpkin and the donkey-rider in the service of art and freedom

In the past, neither collaboration by several artists on a single work nor the production of copies or replicas were unpopular or regarded as unusual. If one could not obtain the original, a replica or copy was often a fine substitute; what mattered most was the motif and the quality of execution. In both painting and sculpture, however, this very reproductive aspect has been challenged greatly since the mid-19th century, on account of the increasing focus on originality; and for that same reason, numerous copies and replicas both of Thorvaldsen’s own works and from his collections were sold at an auction at Thorvaldsens Museum in 1849, cf. 1.10.1849, 1.10.1849. On this see also Kira Kofoed, Thorvaldsen’s Collection of Paintings − a Collection with a Significant Lack, arkivet.thorvaldensmuseum.dk, 2015, and Kira Kofoed, Prolific Producer or Strategic Genius?, arkivet.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk, 2014.

Last updated 02.08.2018