Christus (statue)

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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. Since its completion in 1838, the statue has been located in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark's Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. 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[edit]

Thorvaldsen was commissioned to sculpt statues of Jesus and the apostles for the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen. The statue of Jesus was completed in 1821.The statue is 345 centimeter high.[1] 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.

The Christus was not well known outside of Denmark until 1896, when an American textbook writer wrote that the statue was "considered the most perfect statue of Christ in the world."[2][non-primary source needed][dubious ]

Use by the LDS Church[edit]

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. In 1966, the statue was placed at the church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The church's second Christus replica was created to be displayed in its 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".[3]

Since the display of the Christus at the World's Fair and at Temple Square, the church has created replicas of the statue and displayed them in visitors' centers near LDS temples in Hamilton, New Zealand; Laie, Hawaii; Los Angeles, California; Mesa, Arizona; 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.[3][4] Replicas are also on display at the church's visitors' centers at the Hill Cumorah and in Independence, Missouri.[4] The church uses the image of the Christus on its webpages and in other official publications.[4]

Other replicas[edit]

A full-size replica of the Christus is located in The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; the hospital refers to the statue as Christus Consolator.[5]

A replica is located at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California in "The Court of the Christus" on Cathedral Drive.[6]

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.[7]

Another copy of the statue is in front of the Friedenskirche in Potsdam, which was built from 1845-1854.

An additional replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen's Christus statue is found in the church of Sankt Petri Stavanger, Norway where it has been on display since 1853.

One replica is in the Koranda Congregation Chapel of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in the Czech city of Pilsen.

One replica is at St. John United Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington, USA. This church was originally a Danish speaking Lutheran Church.

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Villadsen, Ole. Billeder og billedkunst. Gyldendal. p. 102. ISBN 87-00-33896-6.
  2. ^ Coe, Fanny E. (1896). Dunton, Larkin (ed.). Modern Europe. The Young Folks' Library 9, The World and Its People 5. Boston: Silver Burdett. p. 126. OCLC 14865981.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Roylance, Lindsay (December 2003), "A Provocative Icon", Dome, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 54 (10): 1, archived from the original on 2013-12-03
  6. ^
  7. ^ Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue, NBC News, AP, 2009-04-12, archived from the original on 2013-10-21

External links[edit]

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