9.5.1818

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Rom

Recipient

Christian 8.

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Tilskrift: Til Hans Kongelige Høyhed / Prinds Christian Frederic

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen assures the concerned Christian Frederik that the Alexander Frieze for Christiansborg Palace will be an original work of art and not a mere copy. He refers to a letter dated 9.5.1818 from Herman Schubart, in which his ideas about the originality of the work are expressed.

Document

Rom den 9de May 1818 –

I det jeg aflægger min underdanigste Taksigelse for det naadige BrevI hvormed Deres Kongelige Høyhed har beæret mig den 11te April, henholder jeg mig aldeles til Indholden af den SkrivelseII, som Hans Exellenz Baron v SchubartIII i Dag afsender. Han har fuldkommen tolket mine Tanker, og det vilde være overflødigt at tilføye noget, da han bestemt har forsikkret Deres Kongelige Høyhed om, at mit ArbejdeIV vil blive en Original, og ey en GjenpartV, saa at Deres Kongelige Høyhed, saavelsom det Danske Publicum, kan være aldeles beroeliget i denne Henseende.
Jeg kunde ikke vælge en bedre Talsmand end den gode og ædle Baron, som ynder mig, som elsker Kunsten lidenskabelig, og som er gienemtrængt af de varmeste Følelser for Deres Kongelige Høyhed

underdanigst
A. Thorvaldsen

Oversættelse af dokument

Rome, May 9th 1818 –

Giving my most humble thanks for the favour of April 11th with which Your Royal Highness has honoured me I refer entirely to the content of the letter which His Excellency Baron von Schubart sends today. He has explained my thoughts perfectly and it would be unnecessary to add anything as he certainly has assured Your Royal Highness that my work will be an original and not a copy, so that Your Royal Highness as well as the Danish public may be completely assured in this respect.
I could not choose a better spokesman than the kind and noble baron, who appreciates me, who passionately loves the arts, and who is filled with the warmest feelings for Your Royal Highness,

Most humbly,
A. Thorvaldsen


[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

The letter is in Thorvaldsen’s hand, but it has been composed by Herman Schubart.
 
See also the almost identical draft of this letter.

Document Type

Færdigt egenhændigt dokument

Archival Reference

Rigsarkivet, Kongehusarkivet.

Thiele

Gengivet hos Thiele II, p. 373-374.

Subjects

Persons

Works

A503 Alexander den Stores indtog i Babylon, 1812, inv.nr. A503

Commentaries

  1. The letter Thorvaldsen refers to here was dated 7.4.1818 and not, as it says, 11.4.
    The mistake is probably due to the fact that Herman Schubart has composed the letter, and that he himself received a letter from Christian Frederik 11.4.1818, cf. the copy in Herman Schubart’s archives, the Correspondance with the King and the Royal Family 1802-1831, the National Archives.

  2. Cf. letter dated 9.5.1818 from Herman Schubart to Christian (8.) Frederik.

  3. The Danish baron and diplomat Herman Schubart.

  4. I.e. the marble version of Alexander the Great’s Entry into Babylon (the Alexander Frieze), cf. A503, which was wanted for Christiansborg Palace.

  5. In a letter dated 7.4.1818 Christian (8.) Frederik expressed his concern regarding the idea of acquiring the Alexander Frieze for the King’s new Christiansborg Palace: He felt that the idea had been compromised by the fact that a private person (Giovanni Battista Sommariva) had also commissioned the Alexander Frieze in marble – so was the King just getting a copy?
    Christian Frederik therefore asked Thorvaldsen to create an entirely new frieze with a new subject in order to avoid any embarrassment to the King.

Last updated 10.09.2017