|No. 221 of 9859|
Information on sender
Perfekt aftryk i rød lak af Thorvaldsens segl, som optræder nederst på alle Brevarkivets sider.
Dating based on
Dateringen fremgår af brevet.
Information on recipient
Thorvaldsen regrets that his report to the Royal Academy has been delayed. He would have liked to be able to inform the Academy that the works he sent to Copenhagen have left Leghorn, which for unknown reasons is not the case. The difficulties of transportation prevent him from sending his latest works, i.e. a statue of The Goddess of Peace, and marble copies of two antique busts of Cicero, A760 / A761 and Agrippa, A759. At present, he is mainly working on Jason with the Golden Fleece, A52, and a marble copy of a bust of Raphael, A752.
Rom den 24de October 1800
Underdanigst Pro Memoria!
Jeg skulde alerede for nogen Tiid siden have opfyldet min pligt at tilskrive det Kongelige Academie, dersom ieg ikke havde haabet tillige at kunde melde mine for Samme bestemte Arbeider, som ieg i foraaret sendte til Livorno, derfra vare afgaaet til Kiøbenhavn, og for denne Omstændighed Skyld havde opsat at skrive indtil nu ieg seer at Sagen alt for længe udtrækkes. Ikke veed ieg hvorfor de saa lenge opholdes, skiønt Commissionæren i Livorno, til hvilkken Casserne vare adresserede, og hos ham ankom i Begyndelsen af Aprilmaaned, adskillige Gange ved Breve har lovet at befordre dem med første sikre Leilighed, og at melde det hertil saa snart de var indskibede. Denne opholdelse som formodenligen er for Seiladsens Vanskelighed i disse urolige Tiider, giør ogsaa at ieg opsætter at bortskikke hvad ieg siden den Tiid har forferdiget for Academiet, nemlig en Gruppe forestillende Fredens Gudinde der med Vinger siddende paa Jordkuglen holer i sin høire Haand en Caduceus og med den venstre Arm omfavner Overflødighedens Genius som staaer ved hendes Side paa Kuglen, under Hindes føder liger Kris Reskaber som Hund seder den venstre Fod paa: og to marmor Büster copierte efter Antikerne af Cicero og Agrippa. Det er naturligt at ieg ønsker saa snart som mulig at skikke Academiet disse Prøver af min fremgang, haabende at Samme vil bedømme med sin sædvanlig Lemfældighed imod unge Artister, der med Iver stræber at giøre i Konsten den fremgang deres Evner og Situation tillader dem! og naar ieg erfarer at der igen gives siker Leilighed fra Livorno til Kiøbenhavn skal ieg ikke forsømme ufortøvet at afsende dem. Jeg skulde misbruge Academies Taalmodighed, dersom ieg vilde anføre forskielige arbeider som ieg har giord for at øve mig: Hvad for nærværende fornemmeligen beskæftiger mig er en nøgen Figur i naturlig Størrelse, som forrestiller Iason i Begreb at vende tilbage til Skibet efter han har borttaget det gyldne Fliis, som han bærer paa den venstre Arm holdende i den høire Haand et Spyd, og en Copie i marmor efter Raphaels Büste i Rotonden, Saasom begge disse Ting inden kort Tiid vil blive færdige, og troer maaske at skikke Academiet dette istæden for de forhen anførte, og smiger mig med det Haab at de vil viidne om de fortskridte ieg Tiid efter anden giør i Konsten, der dagligen bliver mig kierere, skiønt ieg tillige dagligen mere indseer hvor langt ieg endnu er borte fra den Fuldkommenhed som findes i de Mesterstykker ieg her har for Øinene. Imidlertiid anbefalende mig til Academies vedvarende Velyndest,
Rome, October 24th 1800
Most humbly Pro Memoria!
Already some time ago I should have fulfilled my obligation to write to the Royal Academy if I had not hoped to be able to inform you that my works intended for the same, which I sent to Leghorn in spring, had been forwarded to Copenhagen, and because of this I had postponed writing, until I now see that the matter drags on too long. I do not know why they are detained for so long, although the commissary in Leghorn, to whom the crates were addressed and to whom they arrived at the beginning of the month of April, several times by letters has promised to convey them by the first safe opportunity and to inform us here as soon as they were put on board. This delay which most likely is due to the difficulties to navigation in these unsettled times, also has the effect that I postpone to ship what I since that time have made for the Academy, namely a group representing the Goddess of Peace who winged sitting on the globe in her right hand holds a Caduceus and with her left arm embraces the Genius of Plenty who stands at her side on the globe, under her feet is war equipment on which she is placing her left foot: and two marble busts, copied from the antiques of Cicero and Agrippa. It is natural that I wish as soon as possible to send these proofs of my progress to the Academy hoping that the same will judge by its usual lenience to young artists who with anxiety strive to make the progress in art which their abilities and situation permit them! And when I learn that a safe opportunity can be obtained from Leghorn to Copenhagen I shall not fail to ship them immediately. I should abuse the patience of the Academy if I mentioned various works which I have made to practise: what at present especially occupies me is a naked full-size figure which represents Jason returning to the ship after he has taken the golden fleece, which he is carrying on his left arm holding a spear in his right hand; and a copy in marble of Raphael’s bust in the rotunda. Seeing that both these objects will be finished before long I think perhaps that I will send these to the Academy instead of the formerly mentioned, and I indulge in the hope that they will give proof of the progress over time I make in art, which I daily become more attached to, though I also daily realize all the more how far I still am from the perfection which exists in the masterpieces that meet my eyes here. In the meantime I recommend myself to the continued favour of the Academy,
[Translated by Karen Husum]
Regarding receipt of this letter, the journal of the Academy of Fine Arts of 25.3.1801 (The Danish National Archives”:http://www.sa.dk/content/us/about_us/danish_national_archives, Kunstakademiets arkiv, Akademiforsamlingen) reads: “From the pensioner, sculptor Thorwaldsen a letter was received, dated Rome October 24th of last year: in this he announces that he has sent samples of his work to the Academy in the spring of last year which, presumably because of the present difficulties of transportation by sea, have not yet arrived. For this reason, he is eager to send a group he has executed representing the Goddess of Peace and two marble copies of antique busts; also a figure in full size representing Jason etc. In conclusion, he recommends himself to the favour of the Academy.”
|Rigsarkivet, Kunstakademiets arkiv, Akademiforsamlingen, journalsager, 1800, II, nr. 17.|
|Gengivet hos Thiele I, p. 159-161.|
|Wars with England · Lost Works by Thorvaldsen · Transportation of Thorvaldsen's Artworks to Copenhagen 1798 and 1802 · Jason and the Hope Commission · Copying Antiquity · Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Reports For · Portrait Busts, Historical Persons · Portrait Busts, Contemporary Persons · Statues, Classical Mythology · Thorvaldsen and Raphael · Thorvaldsen's Works, Copies after Antiquity|
|Jaume & Schwarz|