The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 755 of 10046
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

20.8.1809 [+]

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af kontrakten.

Theodor von Hahn [+]

Recipient’s Location

Rom

Information on recipient

Ingen udskrift.

Abstract

Contract between Thorvaldsen and Theodor von Hahn concerning delivery of the marble statue Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow.

See Original

Noi sottoscri[tti] con il presente contratto ci obblighiamo ciòe
In quanto a me Alberto Thorvaldsen Scultore Danese mi obbligo fare una Statua p[er] il Sig[no]re. Baron de Hahn rappresentante Amore di mio genio, ed invenzione di marmo di prima qualità, senza macchie ò altri difetti notabili che possino ivi stare dell’ altazza di palmi sei Romani, da doversi finire nel termine di un anno p[er] la somma di scudi ottocento. Ed in quanto a me Baron de Hahn mi obbligo pagare la sud[dett]a. Statua al d[ett]o. Alberto Thorvaldsen Scudi Ottocento moneta Romana in quattro rate di s[cudi] duecento l’una ciòe, la prima anticipata, la seconda a finito Sarà il modello, la terza subbito sbozzato il marmo, e la quarta quando Sarà ultimata. In fide [x] Roma questo di 20. Agosto 1809

Theodor de Hahn
A[lbert]o Thorvalsen

General Comment

This is the commission for a marble staue by Thorvaldsen, now disappeared,
viz. Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow. The statue is only known from two-dimensional representations, see Mori, op. cit. and the drawing D172.


The original model was executed as early as the Spring of 1807, and a commission in marble already existed, see letter dated 30.1.1807. However, it is uncertain whether Thorvaldsen had, in 1807, made an oral agreement with von Hahn,
which was then written down in the present contract, or whether another, as yet unidentified, person had commissioned the work in 1807. The work, however, is only known in von Hahn’s copy which, according to Thiele 1831, p. 113 was sent to von Hahn’s native country of Kurland in 1811, where it may have been placed at his manor house Pastende (German: Postenden), five kilometres west of the present Latvian town of Talsi.

!http://fotoarkivet.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk/imgs/31/61/30579/collection/M1_28.jpg?(Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow, statue, marble, whereabouts unknown!
Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow
Whereabouts unknown, reproduced from Mori, op. cit.


The price of the statue was 800 scudi, as stated in the contract. This was a doubling since 1804 for a statue of a similar height – 6 Roman palmi = ca 133 cm – see Thorvaldsen’s Works, Prices.
Thorvaldsen wanted the statue paid in four instalments – as usual – in order to have enough money for materials and workshop expenses:
  • 1st instalment, 200 scudi: On receipt of the commission
  • 2nd instalment, 200 scudi: On completion of the original model
  • 3rd instalment, 200 scudi: After rough carving of the marble
  • 4th instalment, 200 scudi: On completion

See more about this form of payment in Thorvaldsen’s Works, Payment in Instalments.

Archival Reference
m27, nr. 4
Document Type Amanuensis
Document by amanuensis NN
Thiele
Omtalt hos Thiele II, p. 135.
Other references

  • Ferdinando Mori: Le statue e li bassirelievi inventati e scolpiti in marmo dal cavaliere Alberto Thorwaldsen scultore danese, Rom 1811, pl. 28.

Subjects
Lost Works by Thorvaldsen · Spotless Marble · Statues, Classical Mythology · Thorvaldsen and Baltic Germans · Thorvaldsen's Works, Payment in Instalments · Thorvaldsen's Works, Contracts · Thorvaldsen's Works, Prices
Last updated 15.10.2018 Print