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A genio lumen (Kunsten og lysets genius) CC0
Bertel Thorvaldsen
: Bertel (Albert, Alberto) Thorvaldsen
: 19.11.1770
: 24.03.1844
: dansk
Read about the artist in The Archives

A Genio Lumen (The Genius of Art and Light) , c. 1828

Marble. 99,5 x 131,5 cm
Inventory number: A828

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The scene is allegorical, that is to say that it is the tangible picture of an abstract concept. The woman drawing is thus the embodiment of art – not only visual art in a narrow sense, but also of poetry and music, as can be seen from the scrolls and the lyre. The boy with the angel’s wings is a genius, i.e. a spirit: a guardian spirit of art. A. GENIO LUMEN is Latin and means something like “From the genius (comes) light”. So the boy is bringing the illumination (the owl = wisdom), power or inspiration that art requires. And that this is exactly what art – in the personage of this woman – needs emerges clearly from the despondency and fatigue that her rounded back and heavily resting head express.