Christus (statue)

For the statue of Jesus in Indianapolis, Indiana, see Christus (Indianapolis).
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 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

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 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."[1] The statue is 3.2 metres (10.5 feet) high.

Use by LDS Church

In the 1950s, LDS Church leader Stephen L Richards 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 in the church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The church's second Christus replica was created to be displayed in the church's pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The display of the replica "was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) are Christians".[2]

Since the display of the Christus at the World's Fair and in 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; Portland, Oregon; St. George, Utah; Washington, D.C.; and Provo, Utah.[2][3] Replicas are also on display at LDS Church visitors' centers at the Hill Cumorah and in Independence, Missouri.[3] The LDS Church uses the image of the Christus on its webpages and in other official publications.[3]

Other replicas

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.[4]

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.[5]

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 is has been on display since 185366


  1. 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.
  2. 1 2 Jacobsen, Florence S. (1992), "Christus Statue", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 273–274, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
  3. 1 2 3 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
  4. Roylance, Lindsay (December 2003), "A Provacative Icon", Dome, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 54 (10): 1, archived from the original on 2013-12-03
  5. Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue, NBC News, AP, 2009-04-12, archived from the original on 2013-10-21

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

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