The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 20.3.1802

In the early years of his scholarship in Rome, Thorvaldsen’s Financial Circumstances most often seem to have been difficult. All his life, however, he was known for his thrift, and Wilhelm Schadow, who shared hid lodgings in Casa Buti, tells in his fictionalized memoirs: Der moderne Vasari. Erinnerungen aus dem Künstlerleben. Novelle, Berlin 1854, p. 70, that Thorvaldsen was “…so mistrauisch gegen die Zukunft, dass er seine Stipendiegelder unter der Diele seines Zimmers verbarg, indem er dachte: Wenn ich nach vier [sic!] Jahren nach Kopenhagen zurückkehren muss, dann hab ich dort Nichts.” However, Schadow did not come to Rome until 1810, so he has not personally experienced that Thorvaldsen hid his scholarship money under the floor boards. He must have heard the story from Thorvaldsen, who may have exaggerated, and besides Schadow reproduces it in the fictional frame in which he presented his memoirs, so the story about the hidden money should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

Last updated 30.01.2015