The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 235 of 10034
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

Information on sender

Utydeligt aftryk af Thorvaldsens segl i rødt lak. Se afbildningen af seglet nederst på Arkivets sider.

22.4.1801 [+]

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.

Kunstakademiet, København [+]

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Udskrift: A / L’Academie Royale de / Peinture Sculpture et / Architectur à / Copenhague / Franco Trento.
Tilskrift: Til Det Kongelige Maler Billedhugger og Bygnings Academie

Abstract

Thorvaldsen reports that the two crates with artworks bound for the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts are stuck in Leghorn, awaiting their further shipment. 
He has completed the clay model for Jason with the Golden Fleece, A52, but cannot afford to make a plaster cast. The statue has won him recognition among his fellow artists. 
At present, he is working on a sculpture group but does not give any details about the work.

See Original [Translation]

Rom d: 22. April 1801.

Underdanigst Pro Memoria

Jeg har paa nye den ære at tilskrive det Kongelige Academie, men er endnu ikke saa lykkelig at kunde mælde at de arbeider som ieg i overenstemmelse med min Pligt her udførte er underveis til Kiøbenhavn for at kunde fremstillis for Samme, som Beviis paa min Fliid og Fremgang i Konsten. De to Kasser, som ieg for længere end et Aar siden afsendte til Livorno ligger der endnu, saasom ingen beqvem leilighed der har viist sig til at indskibe dem: og denne forhalelse har beveget mig at opsette Afsendelsen af mine senere Arbeider om hvilke ieg i mit foregaaende Brev til Academiet ommældte, indtil roligere Tiider giver Haab om at see dem befordrede til deres Bestemmelse. Imidlertiid smigrer ieg mig at Academiet ikke har nogen Tvivl om min Fliid saasom ieg uafladeligen arbeider for saa meget som muligt at fuldkomme mig i Konsten. Jeg har modellert en staaende Figur over naturlig Størrelse forestillende Jason med det gyldne Fliis, som har havt den Lykke at finde Konst[n]ernes Bifald. Jeg agtede at lade den forme, men fand Bekostninger derved afskrækkende, saasom man derfor forlandte 36 scudi, hvilke i disse overmaade Dyre Tider meget vilde have inkommoderet mig, og ieg om saa meget mindre troede at kunde anvende derpaa, da ingen Udsigter er til at afsende noget til Kiøbenhavn.
Jeg er nu beskæftiget med en Gruppe i naturlig Størrelse, om hvilken ieg undlader at tale, indtil ieg faaer den færdig, og da kan bedømme om den fortiener indsendt. Igentagende mit Løfte at stræbe med al mulig Fliid at giøre den nyttigste Anvendelse af min Tiid, som mine Evner tillade, anbefaler ieg mig Det Kongelige Academies vedvarende Bevaagenhed.

Underdanigst
B. Thorvaldsen

General Comment

Regarding receipt of this letter, the journal of the Academy of Fine Arts of 30.6.1801 reads: “Since the last assembly, a letter has arrived from the pensioner Thorvaldsen, dated Rome the 22nd of April, in which he announces to the Academy that he has made a full-size figure representing Jason, but which he has not been able to have cast for lack of funds. He also writes that he is working on a group about which he will inform the Academy when it is done.”

Contrary to Thorvaldsen’s other reports to the Academy of Fine Arts, this letter is in the archives of Thorvaldsen’s Museum and not in the National Archives. The letter was donated to the museum in 1874 by the grandchild of the Academy secretary, the miniature painter Cornelius Høyer, who must have appropriated the letter so that it was not filed in the usual way, see m28, nr. 2.
For this reason, Thiele did not know of the original letter in 1851 – when the first volume of his biography of Thorvaldsen was published. He writes (Thiele I, p. 165) that the letter is only known “in excerpts in the journal of the Academy”, which is repeated in Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum 2003, p. 12.

Archival Reference
m28, nr. 1
Document Type
Document, autograph
Thiele
Omtalt hos Thiele I, p. 165.
Subjects
Transportation of Thorvaldsen's Artworks to Copenhagen 1798 and 1802 · Jason and the Hope Commission · Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Reports For · Statues, Classical Mythology · Thorvaldsen's Dilligence · Thorvaldsen's Financial Circumstances
Works
Last updated 18.09.2015 Print