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Alexanders des Grossen Einzug in Babylon. Marmorfries im Königlich Dänischen Schlosse Christiansburg von Bertel Thorvaldsen. Nach Beichnungen von fr. Overbeck und Andern gestochen von Samuel Amsler. Mit Erläuterungen von Ludwig Schorn.

RA Collection: Book

Record number


Variant Title

Entrance of Alexander the Great into Babylon


München,: Verlag der literarisch-artistischen Anstalt., 1835.

Physical Description

[14] p., [1], 21 pl.; 373×580 mm.


[T.p., dedic.] - Alexander des Grossen Einzug in Babylon - [English t.p.] - The Entrance of Alexander the Great into Babylon - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

The plates are not signed.

The translator into English is named in the English title: '... Translated From The German Original By Wilhelm Weissenborn'.

The printer is named at the foot of one of the pages of text: 'Druck der Offizin der J.G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung in Stuttgart'.

The work is dedicated by the J.G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung zu München to King Ludwig I.


On Thorvaldsen see the bibliographic note on E. Plon, Thorvaldsen sa vie et son oeuvre (1867).

Summary Note

The German text is followed by an English translation, entitled, 'The Entrance of Alexander the Great into Babylon'.

The work describes Thorvaldsen's large, Neoclassical relief-frieze of 'Alexander the Great's Entrance into Babylon'. This was originally modelled by the sculptor in stucco for four walls in the Palazzo Quirinale in Rome, in 1812; but marble versions were afterwards made for Conte Sommariva's Villa Carlotta on Lake Como, and for the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. It is the last version - which contains additional reliefs, demanded by the different dimensions of the palace room - which is described here.

The first, unnumbered plate shows an overview of the four parts of the frieze. Plates I-XXI are uncaptioned; but Schorn's explanatory text presents them in four groups: 1-6 showing the Euphrates and city walls; 7-12, tributes of homage; 13-16, Alexander, deities and followers; 17-21, the train of the Macedonian army. Each plate is given a detailed explanation. Thorvaldsen's imagery is based on the narrative of Quintus Curtius Rufus.

Copy Note

Some leaves of text and one plate (pl. III) are bound in out of order.

Binding Note

19th-century half red morocco, red embossed-papered boards, upper cover lettered 'Thorwaldsen Frieze Of Alenander'.

Name as Subject


Macedonians - Greeks - Mesopotamia - Iraq - Babylon (Extinct city) - History - 4th century B.C.
Sculpture - Bas-reliefs - Friezes - Narrative art - Italy - Rome - Denmark - Copenhagen - History - 19th century - Neoclassicism
Pictorial works - Germany - 19th century