Cristo e i 12 Apostoli, 1821/1827
Bertel Thorvaldsen was a leading representative of neoclassicism in sculpture, interpreted strictly aesthetic canons of that artistic movement with great formal purity. Although often compared to Canova, Thorvaldsen than the latter embodied a greater extent the Greek classical art style: the poses and expressions of his figures are much more rigid and canonical than the Italian sculptor’s works.
Thorvaldsen later became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and was responsible for carrying out the colossal series of statues of Christ and the twelve Apostles for the rebuilding of Vor Frue Kirke (now Copenhagen Cathedral), which had been destroyed by British bombardment in 1807.
Among Thorvaldsen students should mention Hermann Vilhelm Bissen, Hermann Ernst Freund, Emil Wolff, Ludwig Schwanthaler, Eduard Schmidt von der Launitz, Pietro Tenerani and Luigi Bienaimé.