Comment on 19.8.1797
Thorvaldsen refers to the packing of statues in the Vatican. In the Peace of Tolentino 19.2.1797 the Pope, besides considerable territorial cessions and large sums of money, had to hand over hundreds of the most famous artsworks and valuable manuscripts to the French. The majority was returned after the Treaty of Vienna 1815.
The French had already begun the selection of the artworks which were to be taken away in November 1796, see Wilhelm von Uhden’s report of 12.11.1796 in: Der neue Teutsche Merkur, 1797, vol. 1, p. 55-57. Uhden’s report of 12.5.1797 shows that the majority of the works had been taken away at this time , see Der neue Teutsche Merkur, 1797, vol. 2, p. 274-275.
The antique sculptures which were sent to Paris were incorporated in Les monumens antiiques du Musée Napoléon, dessinés et graves par Thomas Piroli, avec une explication par J.G. Schweighaueser, publiés par F. et P. Piranesi, Frères, vol. I-IV, Paris 1804-06 (copy in Thorvaldsens Museum, M140).
See also Thiele I, p. 105.
Last updated 05.03.2015