To mark the 200th anniversary of one of the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s artistically and politically most important works, a 33-metre-long frieze created for the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Thorvaldsens Museum is mounting an exhibition entitled “Phidias of the North: Thorvaldsen’s tour de force with Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte” in spring 2012. On four Wednesdays in March, a series of lectures will focus on the political, personal and artistic agendas behind this frieze. It represents the entry of Alexander the Great into Babylon, but was at the same time a homage to Napoleon, whose expected arrival in Rome was the reason for Thorvaldsen’s being awarded the commission.
Similarities and differences between Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) and Napoleon (1769-1821) will be the theme, partly on the basis of their respective campaigns and dreams of power. As Danish archaeologists are deeply involved in excavations in Anatolia, we will in addition learn about the most recent results of this research. The lectures also include a special tour of the exhibition “The Price of Power”.
7 March: Alexander the Great as Ruler, Commander and Individual
(Anne Marie Carstens, Ph.D.)
14 March: Recent excavations in the Persian Realm. What did we find?
(Anne Marie Carstens, Ph.D)
21 March: Thorvaldsen and the Sense of History
(Margrethe Floryan, Thorvaldsens Museum)
28 March: Napoleon as Emperor, Commander and Individual
(Eric Lerdrup Bourgois, Cand. Mag.)