The art of Thorvaldsen
The museum's permanent exhibition contains more than 50 original models in plaster, which Thorvaldsen made during his stays on Nysø. Several of the works are commissioned tasks, including the relief friezes that Thorvaldsen performed for Our Lady's Church in Copenhagen, and several of the collection's busts. Other works are made as gifts or a spontaneous whim, for example the genre piece Thorvaldsen with the Stampe family, which is a gift to Christine Stampe, and the beautiful relief Farewell to Nysø, which Thorvaldsen spontaneously performed the morning he and the family traveled to Rome in 1841.
Central to the exhibition is Thorvaldsen's life-size self-portrait statue, which he made at Christine Stampe's request, as well as the two genre pieces with family scenes from everyday life on Nysø. The genre pieces show a breakthrough in Thorvaldsen's art towards a poetic realism.
Thorvaldsen's clay models
In the permanent exhibition, you can also experience several of the clay models from Thorvaldsen's work process. Christine Stampe also had an eye for the clay models, which she regarded as small works of art, and she therefore had them burned in the estate's brickwork. Normally, the clay models were thrown back into the clay bucket when the plaster casting that Thorvaldsen was to work on had been taken. The clay models provide a fine insight into Thorvaldsen's work process, as they are very detailed and show the careful work with clay as a material.
Ever since he was a child, Thorvaldsen showed a completely unusual drawing talent, and as a mere 11-year-old he was admitted to the Art Academy. In the exhibition, we have several of Thorvaldsen's drawings and sketches for the works he works with on Nysø, including several drawings with the figures Cupid and Psyche. The collection also contains some other drawings from Thorvaldsen's hand, i.a. Thorvaldsen's drawing for the relief Peter and John heals a limp. The drawing is from 1793, and for the relief, Thorvaldsen was awarded the academy's large gold medal, which also included the three-year travel scholarship to Rome.
Works by other artists
In the Thorvaldsen Collection on Nysø, we also have a number of works by other artists associated with Thorvaldsen and Nysø. Among other drawings by P.C. Skovgaard, who through his marriage to Georgia Schouw got a family relationship with Nysø. P.C. Skovgaard has both drawn and painted several motifs from both Nysø and the surrounding area. The collection also includes drawings by several of the Danish Golden Age's most prominent artists, including drawings by Heinrich Buntzen, Wilhelm Marstrand and Constantin Hansen as well as Vilhelm Gertner's painting Thorvaldsen from 1842.