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A Genio Lumen (Art and the Genius of Light)

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The scene is allegorical, that is to say that it is the tangible picture of an abstract concept. The woman drawing is thus the embodiment of art – not only visual art in a narrow sense, but also of poetry and music, as can be seen from the scrolls and the lyre. The boy with the angel’s wings is a genius, i.e. a spirit: a guardian spirit of art. A. GENIO LUMEN is Latin and means something like “From the genius (comes) light”. So the boy is bringing the illumination (the owl = wisdom), power or inspiration that art requires. And that this is exactly what art – in the personage of this woman – needs emerges clearly from the despondency and fatigue that her rounded back and heavily resting head express.

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About the author:
Thorvaldsen
Thorvaldsens Museum opened on 18 September 1848 and was the first public museum building in Denmark. The characteristic museum building was built to exhibit the extensive life’s work of the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) and today still looks more or less as it did when it opened over 150 years ago. Thorvaldsens Museum also contains Thorvaldsen's drawings and sketches for sculptures and reliefs. In addition Thorvaldsen was a passionate collector, so the museum also exhibits his extensive collections of paintings from his own time and collections of artworks and objects from Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquity. The museum also shows changing exhibitions that go into greater depth with aspects of the permanent collections, including contemporary art.

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