Reception (Thorvaldsen)

Sigurd Schultz, director of Thorvaldsen’s Museum and expert consultant on the film, wrote Ib Koch-Olsen, head of Dansk Kulturfilm, after the premiere, "Allow me to thank you so much for last Wednesday and congratulate you on the lovely premiere! As regards the Thorvaldsen film, I maintain it shows the plastic qualities of Thorvaldsen’s works better than the museum does (because of the figures’ not altogether fortunate installation in the museum, in flat light with their backs to the walls, and up at least 20 cm too high). The film will surely be a source of pleasure both to you and the Museum – whatever the fine gentlemen critics say. What’s more, the very way this sculpture film was executed implies a new attempt that must be said to be convincingly carried out and may even become normative for future films of a similar nature. I have since considered whether one perhaps should not so hastily and definitively have cut out the shots of the ‘Shepherd’s Boy.’ Perhaps they could have been saved by trying to cut out the place where the figure was poorly rendered? The music for the film I appreciate more and more. It has the exact abstract quality that I would like to bring out in the perception of Thorvaldsen’s plastic art" (letter dated 28 January 1949).

A statement of 3 March 1953 by Kai Johansen of the Danish Information Office, notes that "Thorvaldsen was screened 429 times at organisations, schools, etc., to a total audience of 52,338 people, was broadcast 10 times to an estimated television audience of 9,050,000 viewers." Another statement, referring to a report from the Foreign Ministry, notes that 105 prints of the film were sold to the United States.

By Lisbeth Richter Larsen | 03. June