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Casting History

Thorvaldsen’s cast collection revisited

From March 24, 2004 to February 13, 2005

For the first time since the 1960s, this exhibition provided the possibility of experiencing the whole of Thorvaldsen’s unique private collection of plaster casts after the art of Classical Antiquity. Here were plaster casts in all shapes and sizes, which Thorvaldsen acquired over the 40 years he lived and worked in Rome. He was a keen collector throughout his life, and in Rome – in those days the artistic centre of Europe – he had ample opportunity to acquire art of a high quality. His collection was widely known, and his home is said to have been crammed full of works of art – including a large number of casts representing an important source of inspiration for his own art.

The exhibition “Casting History. Thorvaldsen’s Cast Collection revisited” attempted to recreate the very experience it is to step into a private collector’s universe. The casts were presented with the lack of an overall view and the lack of chronology that are characteristic of many a private collection. As a visitor to the exhibition, you were given access to a storehouse of surprises and sense impressions.

The exhibition “Casting History” was arranged by Director Stig Miss and Curator Torben Melander in collaboration with the architects Alexander H. Damsbo and Henrik Ingemann Nielsen, who also participated in the structure of the Museum’s prize-winning exhibition “Fatigue. Danish Sculpture 1850-1900” in 2002. It was also Thorvaldsens Museum’s contribution to the celebrations of 250th anniversary year of the founding of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

Af den rette støbning
From Thorvaldsen’s collection of plaster casts.

Af den rette støbning From Thorvaldsen’s collection of plaster casts.

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