Vilhelm Bissen

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Christian Gottlieb Vilhelm Bissen
Christian Gottlieb Vilhelm Bissen.jpg
Vilhelm Bissen by Frederik Riise [da]
Born(1836-08-05)5 August 1836
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died20 April 1913(1913-04-20) (aged 76)
EducationRoyal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Known forSculptor
MovementNeoclassicism (early works)
Naturalism (later works)
Detail from the Stork Fountain

Christian Gottlieb Vilhelm Bissen (5 August 1836 – 20 April 1913) was a Danish sculptor. He is mainly known for a number of statues around Copenhagen, including the equestrian statue of Absalon on Højbro Plads and the Stork Fountain on the adjoining Amagertorv. He was also a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts with great influence on the next generation of Danish sculptors and for a while served as its director. [1]


Vilhelm Bissen was born in Copenhagen as the son of Herman Wilhelm Bissen, one of the leading Danish sculptors of his day. Young Bissen received training in his father's studio from an early age and studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1853 to 1857, then in Rome between 1857 and 1863 and finally in Carrara from 1866 to 1867 where he studied marble techniques.[2] [3]

Upon his father's death in 1868, he returned to Denmark to continue his workshop and complete his ongoing projects. These included most notably the equestrian statue of King Frederik VII for the plaza in front of Christiansborg Palace (1873).[2]

His own works included a number of statues of prominent Danes for various locations around Copenhagen, including N. F. S. Grundtvig at the Marble Church, Christian IV at Nyboder and Queen Consort Caroline Amalie in Rosenborg Castle Garden. He was also commissioned to make two statues of Absalon at the septicentennial of his death in 1901, an equestrian statue for Højbro Plads and another statue for the facade of the new Copenhagen City Hall which was under construction at the time. He also produced a large number of animal sculptures of which the birds on the Stork Fountain on Amagertorv are the most famous.[4]


Bissen was trained in the Neoclassical tradition from Bertel Thorvaldsen but after a stay in Paris around 1880, he was influenced by Naturalism. With the equestrian statue of Absalon he turned to Neo-romanticism.[2]


See also[edit]

Media related to Vilhelm Bissen at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Jens Peter Munk. "Vilhelm Bissen". Kunstindeks Danmark & Weilbach Kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Vilhelm Bissen". Gyldendal. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
  3. ^ "Herman Wilhelm Bissen". Rosenborg. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "Christian Gottlieb Vilhelm Bissen (1836-1913)". Retrieved April 1, 2019.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Ferdinand Meldahl
Director of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Succeeded by
Otto Bache
Preceded by
Otto Bache
Director of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Succeeded by
Martin Nyrop