The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 3.12.1799

I.e. discussions in the Academy of Fine Arts, whose fellows made decisions about Thorvaldsen’s scholarship. The question concerning Thorvaldsen’s right to decide when he was going to return to Denmark was delicate. The holders of the academy scholarships abroad were formally subjects of the absolute monarch / their native land, and therefore they were not allowed to remain abroad beyond the duration of their scholarship. The purpose of the study abroad was that the artists were to return to the King’s service. Abildgaard’s view that Thorvaldsen was “his own master”, and that it was up to him to decide whether he was going to return or not, would naturally cause “discussion”.
Regarding this subject, see Thorvaldsen’s Continuance in Rome 1803-1804.
Abildgaard’s patronage of Thorvaldsen generally met with opposition among the fellows of the Academy of Fine Arts, e.g. Abildgaard’s actions through which Thorvaldsen became a member of the Academy and a professor on the same day in 1805 aroused criticism, see e.g. letter dated 18.6.1805 from C.F. Stanley to C.F.F. Stanley.

Last updated 08.01.2018