The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on Jason and the Hope Commission

Cf. Ordbog over det danske Sprog, definition 2.6, i.e., with the meaning of doing something from a particular starting-point, in the present case fashioning a statue at the same scale as the human body. In this context, then, “over” does not mean super-natural size, as the word might suggest to present-day ears, but natural size. This interpretation is supported by the note added to the Academy’s protocols upon receipt of Thorvaldsen’s letter (cf. the daily register for June 30, 1801, of the Academy of Fine Arts (Royal Archives, Archives of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Academy Collection): “Following the most recent collection, a message had arrived from Thorvaldsen, the stipendiary, dated April 22 in Rome, in which he reported to the Academy that he had completed a life-size figure representing a Jason, but was unable to let it be cast [in plaster] due to lack of funds.”).

Last updated 21.12.2014