Comment on 17.1.1804
Thorvaldsen’s last known letter to Abildgaard from 20.3.1802 was almost two years old. As Abildgaard’s remark about the missing correspondence indicates, it is most likely that there had been no correspondence between the two artists from 1802 until the time of this letter.
Although Thorvaldsen was not the most diligent letter writer, it seems to have been Abildgaard who owed his pupil an answer to the letter dated 20.3.1802 even though it cannot be ruled out that letters from both may have been lost in the meantime; see, however, the list of the correspondence between the two artists in Abildgaard’s biography.
Besides, a gap of two years between letters is not completely unususal considering the long distances in Europe and the slow and often uncertain postal services of the times. cf. the related articles On Letters and Writing and Mail Processing Time.
Last updated 22.01.2018