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Alexander the Great Sets Fire to Persepolis, Relief in marble. Executed in 1865 by Brynjulf Larsen Bergslien and Christian Constantin Olsen under the supervision af H.W. Bissen, after Thorvaldsen’s original model from 1832. (A 514). Thorvaldsen Museum (Copenhagen, Denmark). Made with Memento Beta (now ReMake) from AutoDesk.
In Thorvaldsen’s work, Alexander the Great is mainly associated with the so-called Alexander Frieze from 1812. What is portrayed here is a rather different aspect of Alexander’s personality: In the Alexander Frieze, Alexander arrives at Babylon as a peace-loving hero - indeed, as a god. In this relief, Alexander is drunk, and is allowing himself to be tempted by his mistress to carry out a terrible deed, namely, to set fire to the Persians’ capital city, Persepolis. Among the other figures, we can see Alexander’s friend Parmenio, who is attempting to restrain him; while on the far left a Persian can be seen leaving in despair.
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