The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 12.10.1799

In a letter of 19.3.1799 from the Academy of Fine Arts, Thorvaldsen had had his three-year travelling scholarship prolonged by only one year because at that time the Academy had not yet had the opportunity to evaluate any of the works he had sent home.
The common practice used to be that the recipients of the academy scholarships travelled for six years. See F. Meldahl & P. Johansen: Det kongelige Akademi for skjønne Kunster, 1700-1904, Copenhagen 1904, supplement XXV (Regulation of 21.6.1771). In July 1790, however, the King had approved a proposal from Abildgaard to limit the period of travels abroad to three years and only to grant a prolongation to four, five, or six years “when the student abroad through unusual talent, combined with continuous diligence, gave reason to hope that he would to achieve a high degree of perfection in his art”, ibid., p. 105.
When Thorvaldsen here applies for a prolongation of his travelling scholarship, he has probably been invited to do so by the academy secretary, Cornelius Høyer, see draft letter of 19.3.1799.

Last updated 15.01.2015