Comment on Medio april 1804
It is impossible to establish whether Thorvaldsen here is talking about his work generally, or whether, as the choice of words seems to indicate, he is referring to a single sketch. The foundation did not mention individual works in its grounds for awarding the grant (cf. letter of “6.3.1804”:/dokumenter/m11804,nr.6) but talked generally about the sculptor’s many proofs of his skills and the honour and glory he had won abroad among judges of art. So it could be a reference to the works that Thorvaldsen had sent home to the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1798 and 1802 as proofs of his progress, see the related article about these.
However, it would be more natural that it was a reference either to Bacchus and Ariadne, A1, which Thorvaldsen had sent home for the judgement of the Academy in the summer of 1798. Or to the busts which Nicolai Abildgaard had just received after a long delay, and which he mentioned in his letter to Thorvaldsen of 17.1.1804. Charlotte Schimmelmann also mentioned the busts (cf. Herman Schubart’s letter of 21.1.1804), and her husband, Ernst Schimmelmann, was one of the directors of Fonden ad usus publicos and had promised his wife to promote Thorvaldsen’s case. Charlotte Schimmelmann, cf. the above-mentioned letter from Schubart, also wanted to try to further the interest of the other director of the foundation, Christian Ditlev Reventlow in Thorvaldsen.
Last updated 30.04.2015