The Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen. The sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land. Every morning and evening she swims to the surface from the bottom of the sea and, perched on her rock in the water, she stares longingly towards the shore hoping to catch a glimpse of her beloved prince.
Little Mermaid facts
The Little Mermaid was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg as a gift to Copenhagen.
The Little Mermaid was made by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen and completed in 1913.
The Little Mermaid was meant to be modelled after contemporary ballerina Ellen Price, but as she refused to model nude, the Mermaid was in fact modelled after Edvard Eriksen’s wife, Eline.
The Little Mermaid is a Copenhagen icon, and receives more than a million visitors a year. The Little Mermaid is also the most photographed statue in Denmark, with more than 5m snaps taken each year.
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