This beautiful Jason with the Golden Fleece, male hero from the Greek mythology, was sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen, a Danish sculptor mentioned before in this blog for his Ganymède and his Achille.
male art in the Vatican.
Bertel Thorvaldsen, from Denmark, is born in 1770, and died in 1844. He spent a major part of his life in Italy (Rome), and would be in the line of the best neoclassicists sculptors, like the Italian Antonio Canova. Canova who apparently was impressed by the Jason sculpture (see 19th century art website in the sources).
|Painting of Bertel Thorvaldsen by Rudolf Suhrlandt - 1810 - detail|
|Drawing of Thorvalden 'Jason' sculpture, by Ferdinando Mori - 1809|
|The only known sketch of Jason done by Thorvaldsen - c.1800-1802|
For those interested in the Greek mythology of Jason's legend: ''Jason was a Greek mythological prince whose wicked uncle Pelias had unjustly taken power from Jason’s father, King Aison. To win back the throne, Jason needed to obtain the Golden Fleece, which was guarded by a dangerous dragon in a far-off land. Jason sailed off with his men to find it, and after surviving numerous dangers and challenges, the brave young man and his comrades finally found the Fleece; this sculpture depicts the proud Jason at the moment where, with the Fleece draped over his arm, he is going down to the ship that will return him to his fatherland.
The Fleece was magical, and guaranteed fertility and wealth to the land that possessed it – so by obtaining it, Jason established that he was not only a prince in name, but indeed, equipped to rule his land in the best possible way. The notion that a person’s station in society is not determined by inherited privileges, but by his or her human abilities, is a fundamental democratic principle. As is well known, classical Greece was the cradle of democracy, and Thorvaldsen’s Jason made its appearance on the artistic scene at precisely the moment when pro-democracy sentiment was making a powerful impact in Europe."
The Copenhagen Thorvaldsen Museum :
|As published in the Anderson guide in 1887|
Denmark 1938. The Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, after a painting by C.W. Eckersberg.
Denmark 1938. Sculpture by Bertel Thorvaldsen, "Jason with the Golden Fleece".
The Thorvaldsen Museum
The Hope Commission story
19th century art website