The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 546 of 10178
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

18.6.1806 [+]

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet. Listen, der er vedlagt brevet, skal højst sandsynlig dateres samtidig, se den generelle kommentar.

Nicolai Abildgaard [+]

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Tilskrift: Til S. T / Her Justiceraad / Abildgaard

Abstract

Thorvaldsen thanks Abildgaard for helping Gotskalk Thorvaldsen. The war has given Thorvaldsen financial problems, and he requests that his fee for the bust of Jacob Baden, A863, be sent to Rome. Thorvaldsen asks Abildgaard to sell some of the busts he has sent to Copenhagen. He hopes to receive a commission for Christiansborg Palace soon.
Enclosed: a list of prices of works by Thorvaldsen.

[Translation]

Rom 18 Juni 1806.

Tak gode Hr Justiceraad for al Deres beviste Godhed imod min Fader, hvilket er mig lige saa kiært som den Omhu De har havt for mig til min Befo[r]dring mit Ønske er kun i Fremtiden at kunde vise min Erkjænlighed og Taknemlighed imod Dem Hr Justiceraad som De fortiener og som jeg vist aldri skal glemme.
Da Roms Skiæbne er Hvad de Franske vil, og Krigen forhindrer ofte Udbetalingen for de Arbeider man har bestilt hos mig saa jeg er i Forleægenhed for Penge og maa bede Dem værre af den Godhed at tilsende mig den Summa for Badens Byste som jeg nu har begyndt paa. Museum Pio Clementino har jeg betalt 80 Scudi for og giver det gærne til Academiet. Rothes saavel som de andre Byster kan De sælge for Hvad Justiceraaden vil[,] alt er velgiodt saa lidet det enog er, er det dog en Jelp i paakommende Tilfelder, da jeg nødig vil gribe til den Summa som er mig bestemdt af Academiet til min Tilbagerejse, og derfor ennu ikke har hævet samme. Om det Arbeide til Slottet som man har lovet mig, ønskede [jeg] at man ville giøre ende paa, og beder Dem gode Hr Justiceraad at tenkke paa mig desangaaende
Mine hjerteligste Ønsker for Deres Sundhed og Velgaaende beste Hr Justiceraad og troe mig med den sandest Høiagtelse forbliver jeg

Deres ærbødigste
og hengivne Tjener
B. Thorvaldsen


[bilag, skrevet af Christian Hornbech]
Professor Thorvaldsen i Rom
Dansk Billedhugger.
udarbeider i Marmor.
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

En Figur af 6 Palmers Høide  
    for 600 Scudi. –
– – – 7 Palmers – 800 Scudi. –
– – – 8 Palmers – 1000 Scudi. –
– – – 10 Palmers – 2000 Scudi. –
I Basrelief koster hver Hovedfi=
gur
som er 2 1/2 Palme 100 Scudi
Et Brystbillede som er Portrait og
lidet over naturlig Størrelse
      200 Scudi
Et Brystbillede som er Copie efter
Antiker
og kolosalsk fra
      60 indtil 100 Scudi.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Af Figurer som ere færdige kan
erholdes af 7 Palmers Høide
Hebe. –
af 6 Palmers Høide ––
Venus, Bachus, Ganymedes,
Apollo, Psyche, og Amor
.
Socrates Brystbillede til 60 Scudi
Justinians – – – – – – – 80 Scudi.

[næste side]
En Figur som er 6 Palmer
koster 60 Scudi for Formen
og siden 10 Scudi for
hver Afstøbning i Gyps.

General Comment

There are three drafts of this letter – a fragment, of which only a copy exists, another fragment on the back of the drawing C10r, and a slightly more detailed draft on the back of the drawing C12r.

Strictly speaking, the enclosed list could belong to another letter as the list is written on a separate piece of paper. However, there are several reasons why the list has probably been enclosed in the present letter and thus can be dated together with the letter. Firstly, both the letter and the list are written on fairly small pieces of paper (18,5×11,2 cm and 16,5×10,1 cm, respectively) with distinct creases which show that they may have been sent together. As Thorvaldsen’s letter has no address, it must have been sent inside another letter. It is natural to guess that the letter of the same day, 18.6.1806, from Thorvaldsen’s cohabitant C.F. Høyer, also addressed to Abildgaard, has contained Thorvaldsen’s letter and the list. Høyer’s letter has been folded in such a way that it could just have enclosed Thorvaldsen’s folded letter and the list.
Secondly, the list has been written at the earliest after 26.5.1806, when the said Hebe, A37, was commissioned, and at the latest in November-December 1806, when Christian Hornbech, who wrote the list, left Rome, cf. letters of 18.11.1806 and 30.1.1807. These time limits further increase the probability that the list was written and sent together with the letter with which the list is preserved in the Manuscript Department.
The list has undoubtedly been written in connection with Thorvaldsen’s remark in the letter above regarding the possibility of a commission of works for Christiansborg. The list could show the appropriate authorities in Denmark what the sculptor was able to do. With the list, Thorvaldsen could also send the message that he was at the Danish King’s / State’s disposal, to which – as the absolute king’s subject and a royal academy scholar – he was formally bound, see more about this in the related article Thorvaldsen’s Continuance in Rome 1803-1804.

Archival Reference
Håndskriftafdelingen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, NKS 2337, 2º
Document Type Amanuensis
Document, autograph Christian Hornbech [+]

Comment on amanuensis

Selve brevet er skrevet af Thorvaldsen, men den tilføjede liste er formodentlig skrevet af arkitekten Christian Hornbech, hvilket sammenligninger med Hornbechs skrift mere end antyder. Hornbech stod i øvrigt i nær kontakt med Abildgaard og har antagelig derfor gerne har villet være Thorvaldsen behjælpelig med et brev til deres fælles mentor.

Thiele
Gengivet hos Thiele II, p. 59-60, bortset fra den tilføjede liste.
Subjects
Commission for Christiansborg · Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Travelling Grant · Portrait Busts, Historical Persons · Portrait Busts, Contemporary Persons · French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars · Letter of Thanks from Thorvaldsen · Thorvaldsen's Parents · Thorvaldsen's Works, Copies after Antiquity · Thorvaldsen's Works, Prices · Thorvaldsen's Financial Circumstances
Persons
Jacob Baden · Tyge Rothe · Gotskalk Thorvaldsen
Works
Last updated 21.08.2015 Print