Thorvaldsen's Snake Ring
Gold. 1,5/1,8 cm diameter
Inventory number: N190
Search the work in The Archives
This snake-shaped ring was worn by Thorvaldsen for more than 20 years up to his death in 1844. Among the places where the ring is to be seen are Thorvaldsen’s self-portrait statue from 1839 and the painted portraits of Thorvaldsen made by C.W. Eckersberg (1820) and Horace Vernet (1833).
The ring dates back to Antiquity, and when Thorvaldsen acquired it is not quite clear. However, he was probably presented with it in Rome, at the latest in 1814/15, by Queen Caroline of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Baroness Christine Stampe, who was Thorvaldsen’s good friend during his last years in Copenhagen from 1838 to 1844, had the ring copied, and one such copy was presented to the painter Horace Vernet himself.