Wlodzimierz Potocki, 1886-1888
Executed by Vilhelm Bissen after Thorvaldsen's original plaster model 1821, inv.no. A155
Marble. 215,3 cm
Inventory number: A794
Works, relating to this work: Thorvaldsen, The Potocki Monument, marble version, 1832, The Wawel Cathredal, Cracow, PolandEnlarge photo
The sculpture is a portrait of the Polish aristocrat and general Włodziemierz Potocki (1789-1812). It was commissioned from Thorvaldsen in 1816 by Potocki’s young widow, who wanted to preserve her late husband’s memory. So the task was to free Potocki the man from historical ties, so that his memory could live on for ever. To the neo-classicist Thorvaldsen, the style of classical antiquity was the only one that possessed such a timeless dimension. So Potocki is here portrayed as an ancient Roman commander. The sculpture was modelled in Rome in 1821, but was a further 11 years before it was erected in marble in the family mausoleum in Krakow, where it still stands today. The present marble version was made for the museum by Vilhelm Bissen 1886-88.