The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 4497 of 10185
Sender Date Recipient
H.W. Bissen [+]

Sender’s Location

Firenze

Information on sender

Spor af afrevet laksegl. Brevet er poststemplet ”[F]IREN[ZE]” og “30 GIVGNO”. Brevet blev antagelig datostemplet ved afsendelsen fra Firenze.

Presumably 26.6.1828 [+]

Dating based on

Se brevets generelle kommentar.

Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Recipient’s Location

Rom

Information on recipient

Udskrift: “S.T. / / Til Herr A. Thorwaldsen / Etadsrat og Ridder / via Sistina / Roma

Abstract

Bissen recounts his journey on foot to Florence and mentions that he has seen Thorvaldsen’s Christ, cf. A82, in Carrara. Bissen, who has been asked to inform Thorvaldsen about the progress of the work, writes that the carving of the statue is so advanced that, according to Pietro Antonio Bienaimé, it will be ready for Thorvaldsen’s corrections in a few months. Bissen asks Thorvaldsen to send him a letter of recommendation so that he can get permission to see e.g. the numismatic collections during his stay in Florence.

See Original [Translation]

Kjære Herr Etadsraad!

Efter en meget intresant om ikke meget behagelig Reise er jeg da endelig kommen her til Florenz. Jeg gik over Siena, hvor jeg fand meget der intreserte mig, ogsaa til Volterra, vært at see for sin Ælde og Beliggenhed og for de tvende Museer der findes af etruskiske Oldsager. Derfra gik jeg til Pisa, obhold mig nogen Dage i Kamposanto og fortsatte saa min Reise til Carara, her saae jeg de Marmorbrutene, der morede mig overordenlig, saa Studierne og Deres Christus. Det var mig en sand Glæde at see dette Mesterværk allerede saa langt frem i Marmor, og derved paa en Maade sikret for Tilintegiørelsen, kun gjorte det mig ond at see ham staae eene og ikke omgivne af sine Dicipler. Marmoret er fra en Blokke og foruden mindste feil, og Prepareturne, saa meget jeg forstaar mig derpaa, meget got. Alle huller og vanskelige Steder ere med megen Fliid underarbeidet saa at Udførelsen vil vere gjort med Bil. herr Benjame, som viiste mig alt selv, og bad mig om at anbefale sig til Dem, mente at kunde om et Paar Maaneder være fertig til at modtage Deres Corectur. – her er jeg for nogen Dage siden ankomen men har først idag faaet Logis og er da kommen lit i Roe, og istand til at see mig om her. – har De maaskee Lyst til at høre meer om min Reise saa beder jeg Dem om at have den Godhed, efter nogen Postdage at sige det til Bravo, thi til ham skriver jeg saasnart jeg kan.
Disse Linier vil jeg ikke obholde længer, da De bad mig om at give Dem Efterretning om Deres Christus, men kun bede Dem om, for at jeg destobedere kunde komme til at see et og andet, f.E. Myntsamlingerne, ikke at glemme mig med det Brev De havde den Godhed at love mig, som jeg da jeg ikke var saa lykkelig at treffe Dem, ikke fik førend jeg reiste. Jeg vilde takke Dem ret meget naar De maaskee vilde have den Godhed at give det til Greverne holk og Juul naar de reiser, de ere nok saa god at tage det med, og har den Ere at underskrive mig uforanderlig

Deres

hengivne H.W. Bissen

Florenz den 6te Juny. 28.

General Comment

The letter is dated 6.6.1828 in a clear and legible hand, but the date may be wrong. The date should probably have been 26.6. or possibly 16.6. Several sources indicate that Bissen left Rom 3.6.1828, among them a holograph farewell letter to J.M. Thiele (Rostrup, op. cit., p. 90). After this, Bissen begins a journey which, based both on the route described above and on a more detailed description in a letter to his friend and colleague H.E. Freund (Rostrup, op. cit., p. 90-93), stretches over at least 564 kilometres. As most of the journey was made on foot, possibly by the occasional stage coach, and as it included a there-day stay at Camposanto in Pisa, it has been physically impossible to complete it between the 3rd and the 6th of June, i.e. in three days.

Thus, a more reasonable date is 26.6. because the date must be a few days before the letter was postmarked. Since Bissen in the letter asks Thorvaldsen for a letter of recommendation to be used during his stay in Florence, it is hardly likely that he would wait two weeks after completing the letter before sending it.

In his description of the journey to Freund, Bissen also writes that he left Florence in the middle of August after spending seven weeks there (Rostrup, op. cit., p. 91). Also for this reason, the arrival in Florence can be dated the end of June.

Archival Reference
m13 1828, nr. 63
Thiele
Delvist gengivet hos Thiele III, p. 344.
Other references

  • Haavard Rostrup: Billedhuggeren H.W. Bissen 1798-1868, vol. I-II, København 1945.

Subjects
Recommendation by Thorvaldsen · Commission for the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen · Marble Carving · Accounts of Journeys · Statues, Christian Mythology · Reply from Thorvaldsen Requested · Thorvalden's Assistants · Thorvaldsen's Workshop Practice
Persons
Pietro Antonio Bienaimé · Johan Bravo
Works
Last updated 30.10.2017 Print