Explanation

  • Thorvaldsen worked in several, relatively modest workshops close to Piazza Barberini in Rome, but eventually lacked a place to create the often large plaster models, and where they could be properly presented to the growing number of customers from the top social levels of Europe. This was remedied in 1822 when he managed to rent a large building belonging to the Palazzo Barberini. The painting portrays a well-dressed Thorvaldsen, who in this building shows the statue of Christ to the possibly most distinguished guest ever to pay him a visit: Pope Leo XII along with his entourage.