The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 23.9.1806

Thorvaldsen is referring to the last portion of his travelling scholarship from the Academy of Fine Arts, which he had not yet received, cf. his letter of 18.6.1806. However, the Academy had stated that this final portion was to be spent on Thorvaldsen’s return journey to Denmark, cf. letter of 3.12.1799 from the Academy of Fine Arts to Thorvaldsen and his answer of 4.4.1800. However, after 6.3.1804, when Thorvaldsen’s continued stay in Italy was formally accepted by the Danish authorities – see the “related article”:/artikler/thorvaldsens-forbliven-i-rom-1803-04 about this –Thorvaldsen apparently did not regard the last portion of his scholarship as travelling funds. At any rate, through his cohabitant C.F. Høyer, he repeatedly and fruitlessly asked Abildgaard – in his capacity of director of the Academy – to let him have the money, see letters 18.11.1806, 30.1.1807, 4.7.1807 and 27.12.1807.
There is even some indication that Thorvaldsen did not get the money until 1822, when he asked Peder Malling to withdraw the money on his behalf in Copenhagen, see letter of 15.10.1822.
The fact that Thorvaldsen did not get immediate access to the last portion of the scholarship might suggest that Abildgaard / the Acaddemy thought that travelling funds were travelling funds and should/could not be used for Thorvaldsen’s continued stay in Italy in spite of Abildgaard’s sympathy for the sculptor’s continuance in Italy – see the related article about this. Instead of telling Thorvaldsen this straight out, Abildgaard seems at first to have chosen to misunderstand Thorvaldsen’s request and then to ignore it.

Last updated 24.08.2015