Abbey View Memorial Park may be reached from Ballinger Way northerly on 35th Ave. N.E., or from Bothell Way northerly on 61st Ave. N.E.
Thorwaldsen, the Danish sculptor who made a great contribution to the world, has given us one of the most beautiful and attractive statues of Christ.
Thorwaldsen’s Christ was inspired by the words “Come Unto Me.” It stands in the Fruenkirke at Copenhagen, so life-like as to suggest to the visitor the gracious invitation of old.
The famous Danish artist was born in Copenhagen, November 19, 1770. Up to the age of twenty-seven he helped his father cut figure heads on sailing vessels in the royal dockyard. This work was so distasteful to him and he grew so indifferent that one of his contemporaries described him as “a lazy hound.”
At twenty-seven he arrived in Rome, and once transplanted to classical soil and exposed to intellectual influences from all directions and from all periods, he quickly ripened into an artist of the first rank. Thorwaldsen himself used to say, “I was born on the eighth of March, 1797; before then I did not exist.”
He was noted for his quiet and peaceful disposition. Julius Lange, the well known Danish art historian, has correctly pointed out the fundamental importance of this mental and spiritual attitude of Thorwaldsen’s choice and treatment of subjects:
“He represented Christ, not in some moment of strife or sorrow, but as the Prince of Peace, stretching out His arms that all mankind may find refuge in His bosom. Thus the famous statue reflects the artist’s own confidence of final victory and peace in Him whose voice still rings loud and clear over the world.
‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ These gracious words of Christ might have been spoken yesterday or today–so true are they to the deepest need of our anxious times when so many broken and despairing voices murmur through the world.”
The Christus statue is sculptured in sparkling Carrara Marble in Italy for Abbey View Memorial Park.
[From the December 14, 1961 press release.]
Visit our flickr to view color photographs of the Christus Statue, as well as other historical images from our history.