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Thorwaldsen

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THORWALDSEN, Albert Bartholomew (Bertel), Danish sculptor: b. Copenhagen, 19 Nov. 1770; d. there, 24 March 1844. His father, an Icelander, was employed in the royal dockyard at Copenhagen in cutting figure-heads for vessels, and little Thor waldsen's first employment was in helping his father. In his Ilth year he entered the Acad emy of Arts, where he gained in 1793, along with a medal, the privilege of studying three years abroad. He resolved to visit Rome, where he arrived in November 1797, and under the inspiration of Canova and Carstens the painter devoted himself to reproducing that ideal beauty of ancient statuary, which became ever after the one object of his artistic life. It was not until 1803 that he became at all veidely known. He had finished a model of Jason without finding a purchaser, when the well-known and wealthy Thomas Hope called at his studio and arranged with him to have it executed in marble. The fortune of its designer was now made. Commissions flowed rapidly in upon him, new creations from his hand followed in quick succession and his abilities as a sculptor became everywhere recognized. In 1819 he returned to Denmark, and his journey through Germany and his reception at Copen hagen bore the appearance of a triumph. His

first works in this city were the busts of the king and queen. He was next employed by the commissioners for the rebuilding of the Fruekirke or church of Our Lady, to design the decorations for the same, which now form its main ornament. In 1820 he returned to Rome, visiting on his way Berlin, Dresden, Warsaw and Vienna, and receiving numerous orders for works. He remained at Rome till 1838, when he undertook another journey to Copenhagen, being principally moved to this step by the contemplated establishment in that city of a museum of his works and art treas ures. His return was a true national festival, both for Copenhagen and the whole of Den mark. With the exception of a short visit to Rome the remainder of his life was spent in the Danish capital, and he both took a vivid interest in the establishment of the Thorwald sen Museum (q.v.) and enriched it by im portant contributions. Consult Thiele, 'Thor waldsen's Biographie' (1856); Pion, (Thor waldsen sa Vie et ses CEuvres) (1867) ; both of these works have been translated into Eng lish; Hammerich, (Thorwaldsen und seine Kunst) (1876).