4.2.1827

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Rom

Information on sender

Afsenderstedet fremgår af brevet.

Recipient

Christian 8.

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Udskrift: Son Altesse Royal Le Prence Christian Frederich Prence hereditaire de Danmarc a Copenhague
per Germania

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen sends a list of the works that can be ready for transportation to Denmark in the spring of 1827. He also calls in the loan which Christian (8.) Frederik took from him in 1821 on the ground that he wants to create a museum for his own works of art and those of others.

Document

Rom den 4d Febr: 1827

Med stor Fornøielse har jeg underdanigste modtaget Deres Kongelige Høiheds ærede Skrivelse af 25 NovembreI, hvo[r]af jeg seer det har behaget Hans MajestætII at befale, at en FregatIII skal afsendes til Livorno for at afhente en Deel af mine Arbeider: Vær forsikk[r]et, at jeg skal stræbe at benytte denne Leilighed saa godt som muligt. I Marmor vover jeg imidlertid ei at love mere færdigt til at afgaa, end Deres Kongelige Høiheds egen og Deres GemalindesIV BusterV, de tvende CariatiderVI for TrongemakketVII, og en DøbefongVIII, som jeg ønsker at forære til en Kirke i IslandIX. Det giør mig usigeligt ondt, at jeg ei er færdig med PortraitstatuenX af Hendes Kongelige HøihedXI. Jeg har engang begyndt derpaa, men formedelst Sygdom var jeg nødt til at lade den staae ufuldendt, og den er endelig som en Følge deraf falden sammenXII og vorden ubrugelig. Imidlertid haaber jeg snart igien at begynde paa et Arbeide, der for mig er saa interessant, og hvilket jeg giør mig en Ære af at udføre. Jeg har meddelt Hr FreundXIII den ArtikelXIV i Deres Kongelige Høiheds Brev, der angaar ham, og han har sagt mig, at han selv vil have den Ære at svare derpaaXV. Hr BissenXVI er flittig, og viser meget Talent i det han producerer. Det glæder mig at høre den Fremgang, de to unge BilledhuggereXVII giøre, hvilke Deres Kongelige Høihed i Deres Brev omtaler, det vil vist ikke feile paa en god Fremgang for Ku[n]sten og dens Dyrkere under en Prindses BestyrelseXVIII der viser saamegen Indsigt og ædel Villie som Deres Kongelige Høihed.
Hr SchmidtXIX, der nylig er vendt tilbage fra NeapelXX, samt har medbragt en smuk Samling af TegningerXXI, hvilke han der har giordt, jeg har tilmeldt Deres Yttring hans FinantserXXII angaaende, som særdeles har glædet ham. – Jeg takker Deres Kongelige Høihed underdanigst for at De en Tid lang har bebyrdet Dem med BestyrelsenXXIII af den mig tilhørende Summa Penge, jeg har sikkert ikke kunde finde noget bedre Sted at placere dem. Jeg har imidlertid taget mig den Frihed at tilskriveXXIV H Justit[s]raad AdlerXXV desangaaende, da jeg nu tænker at giøre Brug af denne Summa tilligemed al det Øvrige, jeg har erhvervet mig. Min Hensigt er nemlig at lade støbe et Monument i Bronze, forestillende SeiersgudindenXXVI i naturlig Størrelse paa en Triumphvogn trukken af to eller fire Heste. Jeg har desuden mange andre ArbeiderXXVII, som jeg har udført eller vil udføre i Marmor paa egen Bekostning. Naar jeg hertil lægger min Samling af antike og moderne KunstsagerXXVIII, der daglig formerer sig, saa haaber jeg istedetfor Penge at efterlade en temmelig udvalgt SamlingXXIX. –
Jeg har den Ære med dyb Erkiendtlighed for Deres Kongelige Høiheds mig udviste Velvillie at underskrive mig underdanigste

Albert Thorvaldsen

Oversættelse af dokument

Rome, February 4th 1827

With great pleasure I have most humbly received your Royal Highness’ favour of November 25th, from which I see it has pleased His Majesty to order a frigat to be sent to Leghorn to fetch part of my works: Be assured that I shall strive to make the best possible use of this opportunity. However, in marble I dare not promise more objects finished to dispatch but your Royal Highness’ own and your wife’s busts, the two Caryatids for the throne room, and a baptismal font, which I wish to give to a church in Iceland. I am terribly sorry not to have finished the portait statue of Her Royal Highness. I have started it once, but because of illness I was forced to leave it unfinished and it has finally fallen in as a consequence of this and it has become useless. I hope, however, to begin this piece of work again soon, which is so interesting to me, and which I shall take pride in executing. I have informed Mr Freund of the paragraph in your Royal Highness’ letter, which regards him and he has told me that he himself will have the honour of answering it. Mr Bissen is diligent and demonstrates much talent in what he produces. I am pleased to hear about the progress the two young sculptors make, whom your Royal Highness mentions in your letter, there will certainly be no want of good progress for art and its devotees under the management of a prince who shows so great insight and noble intention as your Royal Highness.
Mr Schmidt, has recently returned from Naples and has brought with him a lovely collection of drawings, which he has made there. I have informed him of your remark regarding his finances, which has pleased him immensely. – I most humbly thank your Royal Highness for having troubled yourself for a long time with the management of the sum of money belonging to me, I could probably find no better place to put it. However, I have taken the liberty to write to Mr Adler, the Counsellor, about this, as I am now planning to use this sum as well as all what else I have acquired. For it is my intention to have a monument cast in bronze, representing Victoria life-sized on a chariot drawn by two or four horses. Besides, I have many other works, which I have executed or intend to execute in marble at my own expense. When I add to this my collection of antique and modern objects of art, which increases daily, then instead of money I hope to leave a rather select collection. –
I have the honour with sincere gratitude for Your Royal Highness’ kindness to me most humbly to sign myself

Albert Thorvaldsen



[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

There exist five drafts of this letter, see:

In the fifth draft dated not later than 4.2.1827 a concluding sentence has been added which is missing in this final letter. It runs as follows:

“When I add to this my collection of antique and modern objects of art, which increases daily, then instead of money I hope to leave a rather select collection, by which also after my death I hope to work for the propagation of beauty and a true understanding of art.) [Italics added.]

See the related article Christian 8.s Loan from Thorvaldsen.

See also the related article Transportation of Thorvaldsen’s Artworks to Copenhagen 1828 for a detailed list of the works which were included in the shipment and other facts concerning the transportation.

Document Type

Færdigt egenhændigt dokument

Archival Reference

Rigsarkivet, Kongehusarkivet.

Thiele

Gengivet og omtalt hos Thiele III, p. 305-306, 325 og 327.

Subjects

Persons

Works

A55 Karyatide, 1813, inv.nr. A55
A56 Karyatide, 1813, inv.nr. A56
A82 Kristus, 1821, inv.nr. A82
A86 Peter, 1821, inv.nr. A86
A87 Matthæus, 1822, inv.nr. A87
A89 Johannes, 1824, inv.nr. A89
A91 Jakob den Yngre, 1824, inv.nr. A91
A93 Philip, 1824, inv.nr. A93
A96 Thomas, 1821, inv.nr. A96
A98 Jakob den Ældre, 1821, inv.nr. A98
A99 Bartholomæus, 1824, inv.nr. A99
A101 Simon Zelotes, 1824, inv.nr. A101
A103 Paulus, 1821, inv.nr. A103
A108 Andreas, 01.03.1842, inv.nr. A108
A105 Judas Thaddæus, 10.04.1842, inv.nr. A105
A753 Christian (8.) Frederik, 1821, inv.nr. A753
A754 Caroline Amalie, 1820-1821, inv.nr. A754
A164 Caroline Amalie, 1827, inv.nr. A164
A48 Victoria, 1827, inv.nr. A48

Commentaries

  1. Letter dated 25.11.1826 from Christian (8.) Frederik til Thorvaldsen.

  2. I.e. Frederik 6.

  3. It was not, however, the frigate mentioned in the letter (the Minerva), which brought Thorvaldsen’s works to Denmark in the spring of 1827, but the Danish merchant vessel the Therese, which was going to Tunesia with a so-called “tributary payment” to Bey Al-Husayn II ibn Mahmud read more about this in the related articles Barbary States and Thorvaldsen and Transportation of Thorvaldsen’s Artworks to Copenhagen 1828.

  4. The Danish Crown Princess Caroline Amalie

  5. I.e.:

    See also the related article Commission for the Danish Royal Family.

  6. Caryatids, 1813. The marble versions in the throne room of Christiansborg Palace were destroyed in the fire of 1884, see instead the plaster casts A55 and A56.
    Read more about the caryatids in the related articles Thorvaldsen’s Relations with Poland and the Commission for Christiansborg.

  7. I.e. the throne room at Christiansborg Palace.

  8. I.e. Baptismal Font, 1805-1807, marble version finished not later than 4.2.1827, in Reykjavik Cathedral, cf. A555,1.
    See also the related article Baptismal Font to Brahetrolleborg Church.

  9. Originally, the gift was meant for the church in the village of Miklabæ, Blönduhlið, Iceland, where Thorvaldsen’s father, Gotskalk Thorvaldsen, was born, and where his grandfather, Thorvaldur Gottskalksson, had been vicar. The baptismal font was placed in Reykjavik Cathedral.

  10. I.e. Caroline Amalie, 1827, cf. A164. Neither the plaster cast nor the marble version was executed in spite of Christian (8.) Frederik’s often repeated wish.
    See also the related article Commission for the Danish Royal Family.

  11. The Danish Crown Princess Caroline Amalie

  12. I.e. the clay model had collapsed. Read more about the process in the related article Thorvaldsen’s Workshop Practice.

  13. The Danish sculptor Hermann Ernst Freund.

  14. I.e.
    “I do not doubt that the sculptor Freund will accompany this important shipment to Leghorn, and the most convenient way for him to return to Denmark would be to travel on board the frigate –
    If he were ever to execute his meritorious composition from Norse mythology, it must be in the North, and he will not forget that a position and a studio have been reserved for him when he returns. “
    Cf. letter dated 25.11.1826 from Christian (8.) Frederik to Thorvaldsen.

  15. This letter has not been identified.

  16. The Danish sculptor H.W. Bissen.

  17. The Danish medallist and sculptor Christen Christensen and the Danish medallist and sculptor F.C. Krohn, cf. letter dated 25.11.1826 from Christian (8.) Frederik to Thorvaldsen.

  18. I.e. Christian (8.) Frederik in his capacity of chairman of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen i København.

  19. The Danish architect Ole Jørgen Schmidt.

  20. In 1827, Ole Jørgen Schmidt had received financial support from Fonden ad usus publicos for a journey to Naples, Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Stabiae.

  21. Ole Jørgen Schmidt published these drawings from his journey to Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in Skizzer af Ornamenter og Arabesker efter antik Frescomaling samt Afbildninger i Marmor, brændt Ler og Bronce fra Pompeji, Herculanum og Stabiæ, iligemaade endeel græske, romerske og hetruriske, vol. 1–9, Copenhagen 1830, also with support from Fonden ad usus publicos, cf. Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon.

  22. I.e. the financial support that Ole Jørgen Schmidt received in 1828 from Fonden ad usus publicos for the publication of the drawings, cf. the previous note.

  23. This refers to the loan of 9,000 scudi that Christian (8.) Frederik took from Thorvaldsen in 1821, cf. the certificate of indebtedness dated 1.4.1821.

  24. Cf. letter dated 9.12.1826 from Thorvaldsen to Johan Gunder Adler.

  25. Christian (8.) Frederik’s private secretary Johan Gunder Adler.

  26. Thorvaldsen began 1827 the model of Victoria, A48, but it was H.W. Bissen, who 31.3.1844 – 18.9.1848 realized the colossal statue of Victoria with her Four-in-hand, placed on the roof of Thorvaldsens Museum.

  27. These other works remain unidentified.

  28. See a catalogue of Thorvaldsen’s collections of art here.
    Read documents regarding Thorvaldsen’s collections of art her

  29. This is one of the first indications that Thorvaldsen had begun to consider the establishment of Thorvaldsens Museum.

Last updated 14.11.2016