The original statue at the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen
The original statue at the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen

Christus (also known as Christus Consolator) is a 19th-century Carrara marble statue of the resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvaldsen. It is located in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark's Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, for which it was commissioned as part of a larger group, which includes the apostles. It has been widely reproduced, and in the 20th century, images and replicas of the statue were adopted by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to emphasize the centrality of Jesus Christ in church teachings.

Original sculpture

When the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen was being rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in September 1807, during the bombardment of Copenhagen by the British navy, Thorvaldsen was commissioned to sculpt statues of Jesus and the apostles as well as some other furnishings and decorative elements. A plaster cast was supplied for the cathedral's consecration, with the finished statue replacing it in 1833.[1] The statue is 345 centimetres (11.32 ft) high.[2] The inscription at the base of the sculpture reads "Kommer til mig" ("Come to me") with a reference to the Bible verse: Matthew 11:28. Jesus is depicted with his hands spread, displaying the wounds in the hands of his resurrected body. The original plaster model is on display in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen.

Replicas

Replicas of the Christus figure are many. A full-size copy was placed in The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 1896; the hospital refers to the statue as Christus Consolator.[3] Another is located at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California in "The Court of the Christus" on Cathedral Drive.[4] Others can be found at churches and in cemeteries including:

In 2009, a six-foot Christus replica was built out of 30,000 white Lego pieces by parishioners of a Swedish Protestant church in Västerås.[5]

Use by the LDS Church

In the 1950s, Stephen L Richards, an LDS Church apostle, purchased a 3.4-metre (11-foot) replica of the Christus and presented it to church president David O. McKay; it was moved to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1966. A second Christus replica was created to be displayed in the church's pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The display of the replica "was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints are Christians".[6]

Since then, the church has created replicas of the statue and displayed them in visitors' centers near its temples in Hamilton, New Zealand; Laie, Hawaii; Los Angeles, California; Mesa, Arizona;[7] Mexico City; Nauvoo, Illinois; Oakland, California; Palmyra, New York; London, England; Portland, Oregon; Rome, Italy; St. George, Utah; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; São Paulo, Brazil; and Provo, Utah.[6][8] Replicas are also on display at the church's visitors' centers at the Hill Cumorah in New York, in Independence, Missouri,[8] and adjacent to the Rome Italy Temple, where it is accompanied by Thorvaldsen's twelve apostles from Vor Frue Kirke.[9] The church uses the image on its webpages and in other official publications.[8]

On April 4, 2020, church president Russell M. Nelson announced a new symbol for the church, featuring an image of the Christus as the central element, placed above the church's name.[10]

Image gallery

Notes

  1. ^ Taylor, Scott (2017-03-30). "The story behind the statues in the Rome Italy Temple Visitors' Center". Deseret News. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  2. ^ Villadsen, Ole (1999). Billeder og billedkunst. Gyldendal. p. 102. ISBN 87-00-33896-6.
  3. ^ Roylance, Lindsay (December 2003), "A Provocative Icon", Dome, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 54 (10): 1, archived from the original on 2013-12-03
  4. ^ "Pictorial Map and Visitor's Guide to Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale, California".
  5. ^ "Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue", NBC News, AP, 2009-04-12, archived from the original on 2013-10-21
  6. ^ a b Jacobsen, Florence S. (1992), "Christus Statue", in Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 273–274, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
  7. ^ This temple no longer has a Christus statue following the building of a new visitors' center.[citation needed]
  8. ^ a b c Richardson, Matthew O. (February 29, 2008), "The Christus Legacy", LDS Living Magazine, archived from the original on 2014-05-13. Excerpted from: Richardson, Matthew O. (2007), The Christus Legacy, Sandy, Utah: Leatherwood Press, ISBN 978-1599920405, OCLC 157000118
  9. ^ "The Rome Italy Temple Visitors' Center: Teaching the Gospel in Direct Sight of the Temple - Church News and Events".
  10. ^ The Church's New Symbol Emphasizes the Centrality of the Savior, 4 April 2020

Coordinates: 55°40′46″N 12°34′23″E / 55.67944°N 12.57306°E / 55.67944; 12.57306