The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 262 of 10177
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

10.5.1802 [+]

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevudkastet.

Johan Hartvig Ernst von Berger [+]

Recipient’s Location

Uvist, muligvis Livorno og/eller Napoli, se den generelle kommentar.

Information on recipient

Ingen udskrift.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen asks Berger to remove the marble bust of Edmund Bourke, A900, from one of the crates bound for Copenhagen. Thorvaldsen wants the bust to be delivered in an Italian or Spanish port and sent on to Madrid.

See Original [Translation]

Rom d 10. Mai 1802

Høytærede Herre

De vil tilgodeholde mig at ieg paa nye er saa frie at falde Dem besværlig. Iblant mine fem Kasser addresserede til Hr Justizraad Abildgaard, som De har havt den Godhed at tage ombord, er en marqueret N. A. No 2, i hvilken befinde sig fem Marmorbuster af mit Arbeide, hvoraf een er Poträtet af Hr Kammerherre v. Bourke, der den Tiid, som bekiendt, var Hans Majestets Gesandt i Stokholm, og nu i samme Qvalitet gaaer til Madrid. Som ieg ikke forudsaa denne forandring, trode ieg det velgiort at sende dette Porträt tillige med mine øvrige Arbeider til Kiøbenhavn, men nu Hr v. Bourke befinder sig i disse sydlige lande og ønsker her at imodtage det, er ieg nødsaget at bede Dem, ifald De førend Deres Tilbagekomst til Dannemark skulde indløbe i nogen Italiensk eller Spansk Havn, hvor der findes en Dansk Consul, De da vilde behage at lade bemeldte Kasse aabne og Busten udtage, der befind[er] sig øverst i Kassen og saaledes placeret at den kan udhæves uden at de øvrige derved derangeres. Ved en lykkelig Hændelse kunde det maaskee treffe sig at De fand sig sammen med Hr v Bourke i Neapel eller i Livorno, og saaledes selv kunde overgive ham den: men i al anden fald vil De bevise mig den Godhed at overlevere den til den Danske Consul paa Stedet med Anmodning, derom at underrette Hr v. Bourke, saa han i desfølge kan give den fornødne Order at den maa blive ham tilsendt; Porträtet distingverer sig fra de øvrige i Kassen befindlige Buster ogsaa derved at det er den eneste som har Drapperie paa Brystet, medens de andre er aldeles nøgne. Jeg beder paa nye at tilgive mig den tagne Friehed og at regne paa min Taknemmelighed hvor ieg nogensinde kunde finde leilighed at være Dem til Tieneste. For at dette Brev paa een eller anden Maade maa komme Dem tilhænde sender ieg et anden afskrivt

General Comment

This draft is about the portrait bust of Edmund Bourke, A900, which was in one of Thorvaldsen’s five crates with artworks, books, etc. sent to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1802. The crates were transported from Leghorn to Copenhagen on board the Danish frigate Triton under Captain Berger, cf. the article Transportation of Thorvaldsen’s Artworks to Copenhagen 1798 and 1802.

The letter is only known in this draft, but the finished letter was sent as appears from the letter of 25.2.1804 to Abildgaard. Thorvaldsen, however, received no answer from Berger, and therefore it is not known whether the captain attended to Bourke’s bust as the sculptor asked him.

Since the draft has no address / addressee, it is not known where Thorvaldsen sent the finished letter, but at the end he mentions that he will send another copy of the letter. Thiele I, p. 176 assumes that the frigate Triton was anchored in the roads of Leghorn in May 1802, but the ship may have left, and consequently Thorvaldsen may have sent the letter to other destinations, possibly Naples, which he mentions in the letter besides Leghorn.

Archival Reference
m28, nr. 17
Document Type
Draft, autograph
Thiele
Gengivet hos Thiele I, p. 176-177.
Other references

  • Else Kai Sass: Thorvaldsens Portrætbuster, København 1963-65, vol. I, p. 59-60.

Subjects
Transportation of Thorvaldsen's Artworks to Copenhagen 1798 and 1802 · Portrait Busts, Historical Persons · Portrait Busts, Contemporary Persons
Persons
Nicolai Abildgaard · Edmund Bourke
Works
Last updated 29.04.2015 Print