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Berthel Thorvaldsen

1770–1844, Copenhagen

On March 8, 1797 Berthel Thorvaldsen arrived in Rome after a long, tiring journey. In later years he would always refer to this as the moment of his "rebirth". By 1802 he had already established his international reputation with his statue of Jason (Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen). The period between 1803 and 1819, Thorvaldsen’s so-called "classic period", marks stylistically and thematically a distinctive phase in the artist’s work, during which he achieved complete artistic maturity: he created a number of sculptures in which the Neoclassical ideal was perfectly represented and on which his fame as the most important sculptor of his time (next to Canova) was to be based.