Denmark's first museum
In 1839-48, what is now the oldest, and possibly the finest, museum building in Denmark, was built alongside Christianborg Palace. The architect, Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll, transformed a former carriage house into a monument to the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and…
Hero's welcome for homecoming artist
In the middle of the afternoon on 17 September 1838, the frigate Rota berthed in the port of Copenhagen, with her precious cargo of Thorvaldsen and most of his works. People sailed out to meet them: one person fell overboard, able-seamen raised their oars in salute and Hans Christian Andersen waved as Thorvaldsen returned to walk once again on Danish soil. The works were carefully hoisted ashore and transported away by carriage. All the great and good of Copenhagen's artistic golden age appear to have turned out. Yet the painter Jørgen Sonne also depicted the absentees. Poets, artists and politicians are portrayed. Sonne's depiction is not only of a grand civic event, but also of the new prominence of the middle-classes who shaped the culture and politics of 19th century Denmark.
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In the middle of the afternoon on 17 September 1838, the frigate Rota berthed in the port of…
Others may possibly have exceeded his posthumous fame, but in his lifetime, the sculptor Bertel…