Thorvaldsens Museum is a monument to the famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), who spent more than 40 years living in Rome and during his lifetime created more than 500 sculptures, relief’s and portrait busts. In 1838 he donated all his works to the city of Copenhagen and later same year it was decided to built a museum in his name. Construction of the building began in 1839 and in 1848, Thorvaldsens Museum opened as the first museum building in Denmark.
Thorvaldsen never saw the museum as he died in 1844, but today it is his final resting place. A week before the museum opened, his coffin was transferred from Vor Frue Kirke (Copenhagen Cathedral) to the tomb in the inner courtyard of the museum.
The collections in Thorvaldsens Museum mostly consist of Thorvaldsen’s own works, but also contain his private collections of paintings, drawings, graphics and books. Besides the collections you must also take a closer look at the building, which has many interesting details. On the outside walls facing the canal are frescoes depicting Thorvaldsen's return from Rome in 1838 and inside the museum every room has a different mosaic floor and very beautiful decorated ceilings.
Thorvaldseng museum is a lovely art museum (the first art museum in Denmark, opened in 1848!), an impressive building anyway with a lovely frieze on the outside by Jorgen Sonne but also gorgeous decorative floors and Vaulted ceilings inside. The museum focuses on Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) and his lifework of sculptures in plaster and marble.
The excellent (free) audio guide was so good that we got excited even with items that we wouldn’t really stand for more than 5 seconds! Not only it gives you detailed description of the sculpture but also detailed back story of the theme and how’s that inspired the artist (his themes include classical mythology, self portraits, Jesus Christ and other religious themes, many busts of well-known contemporaries like Lord Byron etc).
Most of the exhibits are Thorvaldsen works but he was also an art collector so at second floor we saw an extensive collection of paintings, books and coins. There is also a part where you can see personal belongings (snuff boxes, clothes, decorations, tools) but of course the main reason to visit the museum is the marvelous collection of his sculptures.
Thorvaldsen lived for more than 40 years in Rome but hopefully at end of his life he returned and took his work with him (Rome is full of statues anyway)
It’s open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-17.00
The admission fee is 40DKK (free on wednesdays)
Bertel Thorvaldsen lived from 1770 to 1844 and Thorvaldsens Museum is Denmark’s oldest and also most extraordinary museum building.
The Museum opened in September 1848. It houses nearly all of the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s original models for the sculptures he created for numerous European countries.
His drawings and sketches for sculptures and reliefs are also part of the collections in the Museum, along with his extensive collection of paintings from his time and art works and objects from Greek, Roman and Egyptian Antiquity.
With its strong colours both on the outside and inside and a very original architecture the museum building right in the middle of Copenhagen is a fantastic setting for Thorvaldsen’s works and collections.
This museum is dedicated to the prodigious output of just one man. The statues are everywhere and there is an astonishing number of them
The centrepiece of the display is the twelve disciples and an angel. I thought the angel was stunning
The building of Thorvaldsen's museum is attached to the Christiansborg palace from the northern.
Masterpieses of the great Danish sculptor are exposed there in originals or copies. There is his tomb. Numerous collections collected by Thorvaldsen during all his life are presented in the museum: antique glass, bronze, hemmes, pictures; musical instruments on which the sculptor played, and furniture which he used, and also works of his followers.
The facade of the museum is decorated by a frieze representing Thorvaldsen returning to Copenhagen after long stay in Rome.
Porthusgade, 2. M.G.Binnesbel. The middle XIX, 10.00-17.00. Monday is closed.
............then visit Thorvaldsens Museum.
Thorvaldsen is, arguably, one of the greatest of the 19th century sculptors (The Danes of course will not accept an argument on this!) and the museum here in Copenhagen contains pretty much all of his work, most of which was produced during his 40 years at The Vatican.
Whilst art critique is not really my thing, this is a fascinating collection of a single person's work and, taken into the historical context of the artists life, becomes a truly holistic experience.
We were fortunate to have a pair of local tour guides - cheers guys! - to provide background information on Thorvaldsen's life, though the museum does have guided tours and an audio guide.
This is well worth a visit.
The website is also well worth a visit and provides a lot of useful background information.
Bertel Thorvaldsen was a famous Danish sculpture who actually lived in Rome longer than in Copenhagen, so you might have come across his art in several European countries. He was a talent already as a young child and spent his life working on sculptures inspired by classics and legends. As Thorvaldsen became older, he told the current king that he would like to donate his art in Denmark to the Danish people and it was later discussed in Copenhagen whether a museum could be built to house it. The museum was paid for by the city and finally opened in 1848, four years after Thorvalden's death back in Copenhagen.
Thorvaldsen's Museum is next to the Christiansborg Palace and the Parliament Buildings. Bertel Thorvaldsen was a Dane who became famous as a sculptor throughout early C19th Europe.
So famous, in fact, that the museum in Copenhagen was built in his lifetime, to house his sculptures and his art collection.
The Museum building is absolutely beautiful. It surrounds a simple central courtyard. The galleries run around the edge,with lovely ceilings, illuminated by big windows. The fantastic collection of classical sculptures are placed in the alcoves, or along the walls, lit theatrically by the daylight.
There are also some more modern sculptures and also a collection of C19th furniture.
One of the finest examples, in my view, of a 19th century art gallery.
Entrance price was about 30DK for an adult. Or go on 'free' Wednesday.
This is a museum of sculpture dedicated to Denmark's greatest sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen. It's the oldest art gellery in Denmark, dating back to 1848. It's located in Slotsholmen, near Christiansborg Slotskirke.