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Clemens Metternich, 1819
Marble. 61 cm
Inventory number: A234
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The Austrian nobleman and foreign minister of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Clemens von Metternich (1773-1859), was portrayed by Thorvaldsen in Rome in 1819 on the request and order of Metternich himself. Due to unknown reasons the marble version of the sculpture never made it to the orderer and today is in the Thorvaldsens Museum, along with Thorvaldsen’s original model for the bust. Thorvaldsen created more than 170 portrait busts in all. Citizens and nobility, kings and tsars, popes and politicians, close friends and artists. They all modelled for the world famous artist. Among the more famous was Clemens Metternich, leader of the Viennese Congress 1814-15, where stability in Europe was to be re-established and new national borders were to be drawn after the Napoleonic Wars. Thorvaldsen has portrayed the aristocratic and clear-sighted man of state with authority and breadth of view, but also with presence.