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23.10.2020

The Torvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen

The Torvaldsen Museum is a building built by grateful compatriots in Copenhagen and serves as a storage place for many of Torvaldsen's works, one of the most significant representatives of late classicism in sculpture.

A year before his departure from Rome in 1838, the sculptor gave his works and collected collections of paintings to his hometown of Copenhagen to create his museum.

The museum is located in the city center, near one of the royal residences (dates. Christiansborg) on a piece of land donated by the king. The architect of the building, chosen by the sculptor himself, was then a young MG Bindesbell (1800-1856).

The building began to be built during the life of the sculptor, who after his death, which followed unexpectedly when visiting the theater March 24, 1844, was buried in the courtyard of the building.

In these years in Europe began a boom in museum construction, caused by the mood associated with the era of romanticism, in no small part related to the publication of works by Hugo and Walter Scott. In architecture, this undertaking belongs to Torvaldsen Canova, a senior contemporary who built a church in his hometown of Posano.

The sources of funds for the construction of the museum was a subscription, as well as donations to the Royal Court and Commune of Copenhagen.

The building is a rectangle with a courtyard and walls, decorated with multicolored frescoes, reflecting the gala reception given to the master when he returned to his homeland. Two floors rise above the surface of the street. The first floor of the building is used for placing sculptures, on the top floor there are paintings.

There is also a deep basement floor, used for placing office premises and some expositions, in particular for illustration of sculpture creation process.

On the main facade of the building there are five doors leading to the entrance hall with a cylindrical ceiling vault. Monumental sculptures are installed here. The sculptures in the exposition are placed in interconnecting rooms, each of which has only one statue and several wall reliefs, which allows the visitor not to spray his attention on the sides. The windows in the rooms are located, as well as in the Roman workshop, high above the floor, laid out with multicolored mosaics of terracotta. The ceilings are decorated with ornaments in Pompeii style.

The museum's exposition, which includes about 20,000 items, consists primarily of Torvaldsen's personal works in marble and plaster and his drawings and graphics, as well as works of art he collected. There is also a library and a collection of gems and numismatics.

Since its opening, the museum has been considered a public sculptor's monument. In the first weeks after the opening, the daily number of visitors exceeded one and a half thousand, which at that time was a record.

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