Art - The Tordenskiold Monument

Artist: Herman Vilhelm Bissen 1876. 

Peter Wessel Tordenskiold (1691–1720) was the first person to be honoured with a memorial monument in Trondheim in the form of a free-standing sculpture. Peter Wessel was born in Trondheim, went to sea at an early age and was made an admiral in the Danish-Norwegian navy while still a young man. He was renowned for his victories in a number of naval battles, and worshipped as a hero by contemporaries. For his exploits he was elevated into the nobility and given the name of Tordenskiold. He ended his days in a duel just 30 years of age. The idea of erecting a monument to the naval hero had already been proposed in 1864, but there was no great support to fund the monument among the people. In 1873, Arbeiderforeningen (the Labour Association), Adresseavisen (the Trondheim daily newspaper) and the city’s most influential men finally managed to bring the process to fruition, and then "all the town" wanted to join in. The Danish sculptor Herman Vilhelm Bissen had already made a statue of the naval hero, which was later placed by Holmen Church in Copenhagen. A copy was ordered, and Trondheim received the monument in 1876. Today this sculpture stands west of the Church of Our Lady (Vår Frue kirke). It originally stood in Tordenskiold Park east of the church, but was moved to give space for a new music pavilion in 1951. In 1930, the Trondheim Executive Council decided to move the statue to Skansen, but the protests against doing so were too many and nothing came of the decision.

 

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Text descriptions of art made before the year 2000 are taken from the book 'Skulpturguiden for Trondheim' by Anne Grønli and Grethe Britt Fredriksen. Text descriptions of art made after the year 2000 are written by Per Christiansen.