Anna Ticknor

Sender’s Location



Anna Ticknor

Recipient’s Location


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1836 December 23rd Rome.


From here we drove to Thorwaldsen’s atelierI, a series of barnlike rooms in bye lanes, & amidst the stir and clamour of low Italian life. In the first room, we found many men performing the first processes, measuring & chiselling blocks of marble; in the second, were many pretty little bas reliefs, bust of Napoleon & models of former works, but not any very distinguished. Four small lunettes of marble bore allegorical representations of the elementsII, a little boy on a dolphin’s back for water, another on an eagle for air, but earth & fire I forget. The execution was beautiful. A cast of Byron’s head, is very different from any thing, I have seen before, representing more beauty of profile & a worse expression about the mouth.
Walking a little distance, among cartwrights[?] & wheelwrights, we were carried to a room filled with works of the scholars of the great artistIII, for sale no doubt. Some of them were pretty. Going still farther, apparently into the stables of the Barberini palaceIV, we came to the real collection of his works. Here was a colossal statue of Schiller, another equally large of Guttenberg, with bas reliefs for the pedestal, to be put up at Mayence. Here was the colossal figure of our Saviour, full of nobleness dignity & gentleness; the Apostles stand round, each bearing strong expressions of character & feeling. The St. John is beautiful, looking up with a rapt, devotional feeling. We saw too the casts of the figures for the pediment of the same church, in Copenhagen, for which the statues of our Saviour & the Apostles are destined, representing St. John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness, of which each figure is full of interest and grace. I saw the engravings of them last winter & thought it a work of the greatest genius. In this room is the pedestal of the font of the same church, with the exquisite bas relief of our Saviour blessing little children, a cast of which I have seen in Boston. His beautiful Shepherd boy, which we saw near Dresden, is here too. His other great work, the bas relief of Alexander’s entrance into Babylon, I understood and admired much more in the engraving, than I could this afternoon in plaster. It was a very interesting visit. Hoppin came home and dined with us. Mr. Kestner called to tell us the arrangements, he had made for our accommodations at St. Peter’s, Christmas day. Hoppin left us. Mr. Ticknov went to the Princess Borghese & I wrote.

General Comment

Denne tekst er et uddrag af Ticknors dagbog fra hendes og hendes mand George Ticknors ophold i Rom 1836-37. Der citeres kun de dele, der vedrører ægteparrets besøg i Thorvaldsens værksteder.

Teksten er afskrevet efter en fotokopi i Småtryk 1836 på Thorvaldsens Museums bibliotek. Dagbogen befinder sig på Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College.

Archival Reference

Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College, MS-1249, vol. VI, December 1836 – March 1837


Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.




A383 Amor på havet, 1828, inv.nr. A383
A381 Amor i himlen , 1828, inv.nr. A381
A382 Amor på jorden, 1828, inv.nr. A382
A384 Amor i underverdenen, 1828, inv.nr. A384


  1. Dvs. Thorvaldsen kompleks af mindre værksteder, der lå i en mindre gade lige (“bye lanes”) ved Piazza Barberini. Gaden kaldes i kilderne skiftevis for Vicolo delle Colonnette og Vicolo della Catena, og hedder i dag Vicolo Barberini, jf. artiklen om Thorvaldsens værksteder og specifikt Thorvaldsens små værksteder ved Piazza Barberini.

  2. Der må være tale om versioner af Amor på havet, jf. A383, og Amor i himlen, jf. A381, som Ticknor her skriver er i lunette-form, dvs. rundet foroven. Relieffet er del af en serie, jf. også A382 og A384.

  3. Thiele skriver i 1824 noget lignende: “Paa den anden Side af Colonetta di Barberini havde Thorvaldsen tidligere et Studio, som han overdrog sin Elev, Billedhuggeren Tenerani.”

  4. Dvs. det store værksted i staldbygningen til Piazza Barberini, som Thorvaldsen lejede fra 1822, jf. artiklen Thorvaldsens værksteder og specifikt Thorvaldsens store værksted ved Piazza Barberini.

Last updated 21.03.2017