The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 17.1.-14.2.1797

The date is wrong, it should be 17.1.1797 for two reasons:
Firstly, the departure of the frigate Thetis for Tripoli 17.1.1797 was registered by the Maltese quarantine authorities as were all other departures from the port of Valetta, cf. documents in the National Archives of Malta, see Sørensen & Schirò, op. cit., p. 100.
Secondly, in his diary dated January 17, the chaplain of the Thetis, Peder Pavels, describes Thorvaldsen’s leave-taking of the Thetis and her crew in the same way as Thorvaldsen does here, i.e. indicating the same hour and describing how emotional the parting was for Thorvaldsen. See Sørensen & Schirò, op. cit, p. 61.
In the preserved draft of the beginning of the diary, the first entry is dated “23 Januarius”, so Thorvaldsen did not start writing the entries of the diary until a week later. This may explain why he mixed up the dates.
The dates of January 17 and 18 have even been changed from January 18 and 19, which are the correct ones.

Last updated 17.03.2015