The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 283 of 10185
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

Tidligst 19. og senest 23.3.1803 [+]

Dating based on

Dette dokument er en senere (1821) afskrift af den oprindelige kontrakt mellem Thomas Hope og Thorvaldsen om skulpturen Jason med det gyldne skind, A822. Dateringen følger imidlertid tilblivelsen af den oprindelige, nu antagelig tabte kontrakt. Se desuden den generelle kommentar herom.
Selve kontrakten var i følge afskriften dateret marts 1803 første gang, den blev underskrevet. Der kan dog ikke være tale om en datering før den 19. marts, da statuen formentlig endnu ikke var bestilt denne dato. Dateringen angives derfor som tidligst 19. og senest 23.3.1803, da første rate, jf. de nedenstående kvitteringer, med sikkerhed udbetales den 23. Allerede den 21. marts havde Hope dog i hvert fald mundtligt bestilt statuen, da Thorvaldsen samme dag fortalte sin mentor Georg Zoëga om bestillingen. Thiele I, p. 182-183, angav, at Hopes besøg kunne tidsfæstes til midten af marts eller måske allerede 8.3., dvs. netop seksårs-dagen for Thorvaldsens ankomst til Rom. Men det kan i følge ovenstående ikke passe.
Se referenceartiklen om Jason og Hopes bestilling for mere udførligt herom.

Thomas Hope [+]

Recipient’s Location

Rom

Abstract

Transcript of Thomas Hope’s copy of his contract with Thorvaldsen regarding Jason with the Golden Fleece, A822. The statue is to be executed in the best Carrara marble, based on the model, A52, which Hope has seen in Thorvaldsen’s studio. There is a general description of the statue, which will be paid in four instalments while the work is being completed. Below, Thorvaldsen’s receipts for the first three instalments.

See Original
Copie Double

Moi soussigné Je m’engage d’éxécuter pour Mr. Thomas Hope de Londres, en Marbre Statuaire de Carrare, de la plus parfaite qualité, sélon un modele actuellement éxistant dans mon Étude près de la place Barberini, une Statue haute de Onze palmes Romains, réprésentant Jason débout, portant d’une main Sa Lance, de l’autre le toison d’or, pour la Somme de Six cent Sequins Romains, payables en quatre termes: le prémier après l’achêvement du Modele, le Second après l’arrivée à Rome du bloc destiné pour la Statue, le troisième après que celle-ci sera ébauché, et le quatrième & dernier lorsqu’elle Sera entiérement terminée.

Rome le [tomt mellemrum] Mars 1803
Signé       B. Thorvaldsen


Reçu la Somme de Trois Cents trente Écus Romains en payement du prémier terme de l’engagement énoncé ci-dessus.
Rome 23. Mars 1803.
Signé B. Thorvaldsen

fait double


E di più ho ric[evu]to p[er] ordine del Sig.re Patrizio Moir coprd. Il Sig. Marino Torlonia Scudi Tre Cento trenta mta fina per la Seconda Rata.
Roma li 27. Agosto 1804
fatto tre Ricevute
firmato B. Thorvaldsen


E di più ho ric[evu]to p[er] ordine del Sig. Patrizio Moir coprd: Il Sig. Marino Torlonia Scudi Tre Cento trenta mta fina per la terza Rata.
Roma li 27 febraro 1805
fatto tre Ricevute
firmato B. Thorvaldsen

General Comment

This document is not Thorvaldsen’s original copy of the contract with Hope regarding the execution of Jason with the Golden Fleece, A822.
The original of the contract, which was drawn up in two identical copies (one for Hope and one for Thorvaldsen), is not known today. Luckily, it must be assumed that the precise wording of the contract is known from the transcript reproduced here. The transcript was most probably made in May 1821, when the banker G.R. Torlonia, who was responsible for the payments from Hope to Thorvaldsen, sent a transcript of Hope’s copy of the contract to Thorvaldsen to remind him of his obligations towards Hope. The folds of the transcript show that the letter would fit exactly when enclosed in the letter from Torlonia. The letters are also placed one immediately after the other in the systematic arrangement of the letters in Thorvaldsen’s archives. This is most probably the same document that Thiele mentions and reproduces in his biography, Thiele I, p. 182-185, and that he declares to have found among Thorvaldsen’s posthumous papers and then transcribed in his excerpts, Thorvaldsens Museums Archives. However, one is left there with the impression that it is the original contract with Hope that Thiele has found. So, either Thiele has not deemed it necessary to specify the status of the document, or, though far less likely, the original contract has disappeared after Thiele had found it. Thiele III, p. 108, however, refers unequivocally to this transcript as having been sent by Torlonia, so it must assumed to be one and the same document – only referred to differently by Thiele.
Nor is it, as Bindman, op. cit. p.136, assumes a draft of the contract. And there is no mention in the contract of it having been drawn up 6.3.1803, as it is erroneously said in Bindman’s article, ibid. This is probably due to a misreading by Thiele, Thiele I, p. 182-183, who assumed that Hope came to Thorvaldsen’s workshop 8.3.1803 (i.e. on Thorvaldsen’s Roman birthday) or not later than the middle of March. For more about this, see the discussion about dating and the related article about Jason and Hope’s Commission – the latter also for a comprehensive account of the entire genesis of Jason, the commission, and the proverbially long time of delivery of the statue.

Archival Reference
m7 1821, nr. 38
Thiele
Delvis gengivet Thiele, I, p. 184-185.
Other references

  • David Bindman: ‘Thomas Hope’s Modern Sculptures: “a zealous and liberal patronage of its comtemporary professors”’, in: David Watkin and Philip Hewat-Jaboor (edit.): Thomas Hope as Regency Designer, New Haven og London 2008, p. 135-141.
  • Jason og Hopes bestilling.
  • Stig Miss: ‘Tilblivelsen af Jason med det gyldne skind – de samtidige kilder’, in: Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum 2003, København 2004, p. 11-17.

Subjects
Jason and the Hope Commission · Statues, Classical Mythology · Thorvaldsen's Continuance in Rome · Thorvaldsen's Works, Payment · Thorvaldsen's Works, Payment in Instalments · Thorvaldsen's Works, Contracts · Thorvaldsen's Works, Prices · Thorvaldsen's Workshops · Studios at Piazza Barberini
Persons
Patrick Moir · Giovanni Raimondo Torlonia
Works
Last updated 12.03.2018 Print