Relief in marble

The motif

The relief of the mother and the two children is called ’Caritas’, which means compassion. The inscription reads: “Remember the poor”.

The story

It was possible to place donations in the brass mountings below the relief for the benefit of the poor people of the parish. Thorvaldsen made the relief in 1810 in Rome.
In 1822 Thorvaldsen received a request with a prayer for financial assistance from Norwegian lawyer and customs clerk Hans Henrik Gunnerus.

He was, by his own account, innocently imprisoned and Thorvaldsen chose to give him the relief, which was by then completed in Rome, as a gift. The idea was that the family of Gunnerus could sell it to better their economy. Unfortunately, Gunnerus died before the relief arrived, and therefore he did not live to see that it was bought by the church, so that his family came into money.

The facts

In 1838 Bertel Thorvaldsen made the relief ’The Guardian Angel’, which is placed in the opposite side of the church. They were both mounted in the Church in 1840.