Ganymede and the Eagle
On View In:
Gallery 279
Artist:   Bertel Thorvaldsen  
Title:   Ganymede and the Eagle  
Date:   1817-1829  
Medium:   Marble  
Dimensions:   34 3/4 x 18 1/2 x 46 3/8 in. (88.27 x 46.99 x 117.79 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of the Morse Foundation  
Location:   Gallery 279  

Ambrosia and nectar were believed to be “the food of the gods” in ancient Greece, and Ambrosia is often characterized as a fluid. The Neoclassical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen shows Ganymede – the gods’ cupbearer – serving Ambrosia in a two-handled drinking vessel or kylix to Zeus, the Father of the Gods. Zeus is portrayed as an eagle, which is the guise Zeus took on when he carried Ganymede away from earth and to Mount Olympos, where he made the beautiful young man an immortal servant to the gods.

Name:   Thorvaldsen, Bertel  
Role:   Sculptor  
Nationality:   Danish  
Life Dates:   Danish, 1770-1844  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature [THORWALDSEN FECIT]  
Classification:   Sculpture  
Physical Description:   Carrara marble  
Creation Place:   Europe, Denmark, , ,  
Accession #:   66.9  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts