The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 8878 of 10181
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

Between 13.1.1842 and 1.2.1842 [+]

Dating based on

Brevudkastet er ikke dateret. Det er et svar på brev af 23.12.1841, der blev afleveret til Thorvaldsen af Ludvig Müller efter dennes ankomst til Rom den 13.1.1842. Det er skrevet før den tyske prinsesse Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz døde den 1.2.1842.

Christian 8. [+]

Recipient’s Location

København

Abstract

Second draft of the letter dated 15.2.1842.

See Original

[Christine Stampes håndskrift:]
written by Thorvaldsen.
Chr Stampe.

[Thorvaldsens håndskrift:]
Naadigste Konge

Med sand Glæde har jeg modtaget Deres Majestets naadige Skrivelser hvroraf jeg seer at Deres Majesteter som og den helle Kogngelig Famiglies Vel befindende som altiid vil fornøie mig at høre erfare

Jeg takker alleunderdanigst for den Naade at jeg maa begy[xx] at der komm[er] en fregat til Medelhavet i Sommer, og i Juli Maaned skal næsten alle mine Ko[n]stsager være i Livorno for der og [xxx] at kunde inskibes som hr Bravo vil besørge
Min Rejse var meget Lykkelig, efter en kortere[?] men efter en kort Tid efter jeg har været[?] i Rom [xxx] jeg været meget[?] Syg, nu befinder jeg mig Gudskelov ret vel og har begindt dette[?]

General Comment

Problems concerning the transcription.

This document is very difficult to decipher, but there is no doubt that it is one of the six known drafts of Thorvaldsen’s letter dated 15.2.1842. The reading of the draft is made difficult by Thorvaldsen’s poor spelling, his corrections, and his incomplete sentences. Besides, the text is covered by a wash of brown ink, and the text on the back, which has been glued on later, can be seen faintly on the front of the paper, which makes it even more difficult to read.

There exist six drafts of the final letter dated 15.2.1842

(read more about Thorvaldsen’s writing difficulties in the article Thorvaldsen’s Letter Writing Process):

The provenance of the draft.

This draft is at the Fondation Custodia in Paris and was acquired by the foundation in 2013 together with a small envelope with a lock of Thorvaldsen’s hair. The lock of hair was given by Thorvaldsen’s good friend, Christine Stampe to their mutual Irish friend Eliza Whittle.
On the draft, Stampe has confirmed in English that it was written by the sculptor himself. Since the two objects – the lock of hair and the draft – both came from Stampe, and since they were sold together in 2013, it is highly likely that they have the same provenance, and that Stampe gave not only the lock of hair to Whittle but also the present draft.
Whittle writes that she received the lock of hair in 1844 – Thorvaldsen’s death 24.3.1844 may have occasioned Stampe to send the two memorabilia to her Irish friend.

At the time when this draft was written, Christine Stampe was in Rome with Thorvaldsen and her family from 12.9.1841 to 6.6.1842. When she was leaving for home, she took the liberty of bringing this second draft and also the fifth draft of the letter dated 15.2.1842 – and probably also other “treasures” from the sculptor. Christine Stampe did undoubtedly witness Thorvaldsen’s attempts at formulating the letter to Christian 8.

Archival Reference
Collection Frits Lugt, Fondation Custodia, Paris, inv.no. 2013.A.195.
Thiele
Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.
Subjects
Transportation of Thorvaldsen's Artworks to Copenhagen 1842 · Journey to Rome, May-September 1841 · Thorvaldsen's Letter Writing Process · Thorvaldsen's Health
Persons
Johan Bravo
Last updated 03.09.2017 Print