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Thor Resting with his Hammer

Hermann Ernst Freund1828-1829

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

Freund belongs to the generation that succeeded Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), whom he served as an assistant at the master’s studio in Rome.

A break with Thorvaldsen

This depiction of Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is rich in contrast and constitutes a break with certain characteristics of his predecessor’s art. Working in accordance with the neoclassical idioms of his day, Thorvaldsen cultivated a link between form and subject matter insofar as the figures depicted often drew on sources from Antiquity and were executed in a ”classic” style.

Motifs from Norse mythology

During the first decades of the 19th century, however, tastes in Northern Europe ran increasingly towards motifs from Norse mythology while classical Mediterranean art remained the stylistic model for the art of sculpture. In Freund’s sculpture, this contrast is intensified by the figure’s seated, half apathetic pose; very different from the neoclassical focus on active and outward-looking heroic male figures.

Uniting classical form with innovative subject matter

The Norse motif is petrified, presented in the marble of Classical tradition. When viewed from the back, the sculpture shows how Freund sought to unite classical form with innovative subject matter: The exaggeratedly muscular back is a quotation from The Torso Belvedere from the Vatican Museum in Rome, a major work of ancient sculpture and one of the models of neoclassicism.

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Details

  • Title: Thor Resting with his Hammer
  • Creator: Hermann Ernst Freund
  • Date Created: 1828-1829
  • Værktekst: Freund tilhører generationen efter Danmarks betydningsfulde og normsættende billedhugger Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), i hvis værksted i Rom han havde været assistent. Opgør med Thorvaldsen Fremstillingen af den siddende Thor, tordenguden i nordisk mytologi, er et modsætningsfuldt opgør med tendenser i den store forgængers kunst. I overensstemmelse med sin samtids nyklassicisme havde Thorvaldsen opdyrket en sammenhæng mellem form og indhold, idet værkernes motiver ofte blev hentet fra den antikke forestillingsverden og blev fremstillet i ”klassisk” stil. Nordisk historie og mytologi Med de første årtier af 1800-tallet kom der i Nordeuropa i stedet fokus på nordisk historie og mytologi, men uden at skulpturen slap sin forankring i den antikke middelhavskunst som stilistisk forbillede. Denne modsætning er i Freunds skulptur skærpet ved figurens siddende, halvt apatiske stilling, som er forskellig fra nyklassicismens dyrkelse af den heroiske mandsfigurs aktive og udadvendte normalpositur. Forening af klassisk form med nybrydende indhold Det nordiske motiv er forstenet i den klassiske traditions marmor. Når skulpturen betragtes fra ryggen, kan det ses, hvordan Freund har forsøgt at forene klassisk form med nybrydende indhold: Den overdrevent muskuløse ryg er et citat fra et af nyklassicismens antikke forbilleder, Den Belvederiske Torso i Vatikanmuseet i Rom.
  • Teknik: Marmor
  • Proveniens: Erhvervet 1884
  • Provenance: Acquired 1884
  • Physical Dimensions: w51 x h71 x d77 cm (Without frame)
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=2666
  • Dansk Titel: Thor siddende, støttet til sin hammer
  • Type: Figurines/statuette
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Marble

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