The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on Thorvaldsen's Spoken and Written Language

This apt description, it should be noted, appears immediately following Thiele’s account of his discovery of Thorvaldsen’s letters in Rome during the summer of 1844 (for more on this, see the Related Article on the History of the Archives). Here Thiele describes the letters’ partial decomposition, perhaps thereby giving the reader the impression that this was the reason for their illegibility.
By coupling the above account, therefore, with the statement that he had permitted himself to correct Thorvaldsen’s spelling and punctuation as necessitated by the demands of reading, Thiele can be said to have understated the problem. All the same, Thiele did not pretend that letter-writing was uncomplicated for Thorvaldsen. Rather, at Thiele I, p. 207, he matter-of-factly describes Thorvaldsen’s study of Danish and grammatical exercises in Rome in 1803, under the guidance of his mentor, Georg Zoëga—and indeed cites this as proof of Thorvaldsen’s affectionate regard for his fatherland.

Last updated 04.03.2016