Farmers and fishermen in The Lapidarium of Kings. Photo: Thorkild Jensen

Farmers and Fishermen

The original sculptures from the Valley of the Norsemen are in the Lapidarium of Kings.

300 years ago, a post driver called Jørgen Christensen Garnaas spent his free time cutting small wooden figures.The figures depicted the people he met on his mail route.

One day he was given a prestigious order. His wooden figures came into the hands of King Frederick V who ordered a set of ivory and walrus tooth figures to be used to model a series of life-size characters depicting ordinary people. The statues were then carved by Johann Gottfried Grund. Sculptures of Scandinavia's farmers and fishermen were to appear in Fredensborg Palace Gardens

Commoners in the palace gardens

Between 1764 and 1784, 70 sandstone figures were sculpted one by one, and in 1784 they came to be displayed in what almost looked like an amphitheatre. This was a daring collection of sculptures, because representations of commoners had never before been displayed in a royal garden. It was usually only ancient gods and goddesses that were permitted to adorn the palace gardens.

Today, the sculptures give us an insight into how ordinary people dressed at the time and the tools they used to farm and fish with.


The Lapidarium of Kings