5 Things You Never Knew About the Christus Statue

Temple Square Christus
Image via LDSliving.com

LDS Living originally published the following article:

The Christus statue in the North Visitors’ Center is seen by millions of people every year. This iconic representation of the Savior is well-known to Mormons, but it wasn’t always that way. Check out how this statue came about and how it eventually earned its fame in the LDS world.

1. There are five known sketches/models of the Christus: three plaster models and two pencil drawings.

The inspiration for Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus statue is unknown and could have come from his study of classical Greek sculptures, especially the work of Raphael. There are other potential inspirations, but because Thorvaldsen rarely kept drawings or models, we shall probably never know the precise evolution of the statue.

All five models are in Thorvaldsen’s Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

2. Early sketches and models of the Christus show the arms of Christ raised above his head.

There are several theories of how the statue ended up with the lower extended arms it has today:

  • According to J.M. Thiele, Thorvaldsen’s biographer, Herman Ernst Freund listened to Thorvaldsen’s complaints with his arms crossed upon his chest and questioned what Thorvaldsen wanted to communicate with the position of Christ’s arms. As Thorvaldsen contemplated an answer, he suddenly exclaimed, “I have it now! It shall be so!” Thus, according to Thiele, the conception of the Christus was nothing short of divine inspiration.

Read the full article at LDSliving.com

Kylie is a writer at LDS.net and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.