6.8.1804

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Montenero

Recipient

J.L. Lund

Recipient’s Location

Rom

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår ikke af konceptet, men er baseret på indholdet (der omtaler Thorvaldsens opholdssted), på andre daterede breve af denne dato, (se eksempelvis brev af 6.8.1804 til Nicolai Abildgaard og til Anna Maria Uhden af 6.8.1804, der peger på en samlet forsendelse af breveI af denne dato) samt på Lunds svarbrev af 11.8.1804 (der vidner om, at Thorvaldsens brev er ankommet til Rom i hvert fald to dage før denne dato, da han i brevet skriver, at han i to dage på Thorvaldsens opfordring har forsøgt at træffe Camillo Landini). Hvis brevet fra Thorvaldsen blev afsendt 6.8.1804 virker det sandsynligt, at det har nået Lund i Rom den 9.8.1804, hvorefter han efter to dages forgæves søgen efter Landini skriver svarbrevet af 11.8.1804. Yderligere skriver Anna Maria Uhden i brev af 10.8.1804, at hun har modtaget et brev fra Thorvaldsen af “Sigre Luigi”, hvilket sandsynligvis vil sige Lund, se brevets kommentar herom for yderligere argumentation herfor. Thorvaldsen har således sendt sine romerske breve samlet (i hvert fald brevene til Lund, Landini og Uhden).

Abstract

Thorvaldsen thanks Lund for having assisted him in a financial matter but asks him not to give anyone any more money on his behalf. He asks Lund to look after his studio while he is gone and to inform him about the progress of some works: the bust of Adam Gottlob Detlef Moltke, A212, and a copy of an antique bust of Homer. Thorvaldsen has modelled the busts of Herman, A718 and Jacqueline Schubart, A719, and will be going to the marble quarries of Carrara. He expects to be back in Rome by the beginning of October.

Document

Med meget fornøelse har jeg imodtaget Deres BrevII da jeg deraf seer De befinder Dem frisk og vel og at De tillige bliver endnu to Aar i RomIII som glæder mig ret inderlig. Tak skal De have for den udlagte summaIV, De maa lade det blive derved for det første. Sigr LandiniV haaber ieg vil svare mig paa mit medfølgende BrevVI, ieg ønskede De vilde være af den Godhed og see lidt efter hvor vit han er med Grev Moltkes BusteVII, om Hr KauffmannVIII har begyndt paa Homers BusteIX, og saa meget som muligt see efter om der ikke er kommen noget tilskadte i mit Værstedt – mit ophold her er ret behagelig, jeg har modellert i Byste vor gode Baron Schubart, og han[s] Kones BusteX har ieg begyndt paa i Dag. Derefter giør jeg en liden Rejse med Hr Schubart til CararXI saa ieg troer ikke at komme til Rom føren først i den anden m[aane]dXII. Naar De har lit Tid tilovers giør mig den tieneste og skriv mig et par Ord tilXIII. De vil derved glæde mig usigelig lev nu vel og hils alle gode Venner fra

Din T

[Herunder tilføjet som tilsyneladende ubetydelige penneprøver:]
Som ikkeXIV kan kan
m[nu?] tal[til?] som

[VendtXV 180o i fht. ovenstående, delvist med blyant, delvist med blæk og delvist oveni hinanden, dele heraf ulæseligt:]

[Med blæk, øverst:]
Vil De være saa god og
Tak skal De have for de[n] udlagte Summa, lad det nu bliv[e] derved[ ]for det første

[Delvist herunder med blyant:]
Tak skal De have for den udlagte summa, jeg beder at lade det blive derved, Landini untagen
LandiniXVI er den enste enest som jeg ønskede at vide erfare om han kan arbejde nok endnu for en maanet

[Herunder med blæk over blyant:]
Tak skal De have for den udlagte Summa, og jeg beder Dem at lade det blive for det første derved. [Herover tilføjet:] ikke at give mere
Vil De bevise mig den tieneste og see imellem lidt efter met verk[sted]
har Tid tel overs

[herefter følger nedenfor med blyant, som fortsættelse af ovenstående med blæk:]
Landini er avanseret med Grev Moltke Buste og Kauffmann med Homeros og om han har meget andet og Arbejde [xxxxx = igang??] ikke [xxxx] kan haa[be?] at være i Rom føren først i vilkommende Maaned da og

Oversættelse af dokument

I have received your letter with great pleasure as I from it can see that you are well and healthy and that you furthermore will stay two more years in Rome, which sincerely does please me. Thank you very much for the laid out sum, you must leave it at that for the time being. I hope Signor Landini will answer my enclosed letter. I wished you would be so kind as to find out how far he has got with Count Moltke’s bust, and if Mr Kauffmann has begun Homer’s bust, and as much as possible see if nothing has been damaged in my workshop – my stay here is rather comfortable, I have modelled a bust of our good friend Baron Schubart and the bust of his wife I have started today. Afterwards I shall make a journey with Mr Schubart to Carrara so I do not think I shall come to Rome until the beginning of the second month. When you have time to spare do me the favour to write me some words. Thus you will please me immensely, take care of yourself and give my regards to all good friends from

Your T.

[below this added as apparent trials of pens:]
Which can can not
M[nu?] tal [til?] which

[turned 180 in relation to the above written, partly in pencil, partly in ink and partly on top of each other, parts are illegible:]

[in ink, top:]
Will you be so kind as to
Thank you for the laid out sum, leave it at that for the time being.

[partly below this in pencil:]
Thank you for the laid out sum, I ask you to leave it at that, except Landini
Landini is the only one whom I wished to know learn whether he can work probably for another month.

[below this in ink on pencil:]
Thank you for the laid out sum, and I ask you to leave it at that for the time being. [above this added:] not to give more
Will you show me the favour now and then to look a little after my work[shop]
[if you] have time in hand

[below in pencil as a continuation of the above in ink follows after this:]
Landini has arrived with Count Moltke’s bust and Kauffmann with Homer’s and if he has much other and work [xxxxx= at present?] not [xxxx] can not hope to be in Rome until the beginning of next month when

[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

The paper has been torn across and later restored.
On the recto there is a draft letter to Anna Maria Uhden of 6.8.1804.

The draft to Lund, together with the other letters between the two colleagues this summer, documents that Lund was looking after Thorvaldsen’s business during his long absence. The many short draft sentences, which lead to the formulation of the final draft, clearly show Thorvaldsen’s difficulties in expressing himself quickly and fluently in writing, for more about this see the related article about Thorvaldsen’s Spoken and Written Language and the subject heading Thorvaldsen’s Unwillingness to Write.

Document Type

Egenhændigt udkast

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 125

Thiele

Delvist trykt hos Thiele I, p. 241-242.

Subjects

Persons

Works

A212 Adam Gottlob Detlef Moltke, 1803-1804, inv.nr. A212
A751 Homer, 1799, inv.nr. A751
A718 Herman Schubart, 1804, inv.nr. A718
A719 Jacqueline Schubart, 1804, inv.nr. A719

Commentaries

  1. This practice of sending parcels of letters to one person who was then responsible for the further distribution of the different letters was quite common at the time, see the related article On Letters and Writing of that period.

  2. Lund’s letter of 13.7.1804.

  3. Lund was awarded a royal travelling scholarship 1804-06 and was informed of this in a letter of 19.5.1804 from the engraver J.F. Clemens (1748-1831). The letter is in the Manuscript Department, the Royal Library, NBD, and is reproduced in Leo Swane: J.F. Clemens. Biografi samt fortegnelse over hans kobberstik, Copenhagen 1929, p. 313.
    However, Thorvaldsen was to enjoy Lund’s company until 1810 and again from 1816-19. Lund himself informed Thorvaldsen of the news in his letter of 13.7.1804.

  4. According to a previous arrangement with Thorvaldsen, cf. letter of 13.7.1804, Lund had paid 8 piatres to Thorvaldsen’s assistant, the sculptor Camillo Landini, and (clearly without previous arrangement with Thorvaldsen, cf. the following remark) 12 piastres to another unidentified sculptor, who lived on the floor below the archaeologist Georg Zoëga in Palazzo Tomati, Strada Gregoriana. This sculptor is probably identical to the sculptor mentioned in letter of 30.8.1805 from Camillo Landini to Thorvaldsen.

  5. Thorvaldsen’s assistant, the sculptor Camillo Landini.

  6. Neither Thorvaldsen’s letter to Camillo Landini nor Landini’s answer is known today, see the list of Thorvaldsen’s Lost Letters. Lund enclosed Landini’s answer in his next letter to Thorvaldsen of 11.8.1804. It appears from this letter from Lund that Landini had not got very far with his work in Thorvaldsen’s absence. Therefore, judging from the contents of Lund’s letter, Landini’s letter must have contained an account of the present state of affairs: “The bust of Count Moltke has not advanced very much, I have been there twice today in order to talk to Landini but have not met him[;] as he has sent me the enclosed letter, I believe he has told you himself why he has not worked on it, but I shall ask him to work faster.”
    Besides, cf. the draft fragment on the same sheet (see below in the text of the letter), Thorvaldsen wanted to know whether Landini had time to continue working for him another month.
    This practice of sending parcels of letter to one person who was then responsible for the further distribution of the different letters was quite common at the time, see the related article On Letters and Writing of that period.

  7. Thorvaldsen modelled Count Adam Gottlob Detlef Moltke’s portrait in 1803-04. The original model is in Thorvaldsens Museum, Adam Gottlob Detlef Moltke, A212, the marble version, on which Landini, according to the letter, was working so slowly, is in Kunsthalle in Kiel.

  8. The sculptor Peter Kauffmann, who from 1804 worked as an assistant in Thorvaldsen’s workshop.

  9. This bust of Homer in marble is not known today and must not be confused with Thorvaldsen’s own copy of an antique bust of Homer, A751, from 1799. Kauffmann’s bust was presumably another marble copy of the antique bust of Homer in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, probably meant for Baron Theodor von der Ropp, who in letter of 30.8.1804 confirms the commissions for some busts (among them a Homer), which he had made orally to Thorvaldsen earlier that year. See the related article about Ropp’s Commission for further information about this. That Kauffmann in the letter is mentioned as the maker of the bust does not necessarily mean that Thorvaldsen was not responsible for the final touches, cf. the related article about Thorvaldsen’s Workshop Practice.

  10. During his stay this summer at Baron Herman Schubart’s country house Montenero, Thorvaldsen executed portrait busts of both Herman Schubart, A718 (original plaster), A219 (marble) and his wife, Jacqueline Schubart, A719 (original plaster), A220 (marble).

  11. In the company of Herman Schubart, Thorvaldsen visited the marble quarries at Carrara at the end of August 1804, see the Thorvaldsen Chronology.

  12. I.e. the beginning of the second month counting from August, which must mean the beginning of October 1804. Thorvaldsen left for Rome on 25.9.1804, which agrees with the expected time of arrival.

  13. Lund answered promply _ he wrote back already 11.8.1804.

  14. This fragment is seen on a number of draft letters from Thorvaldsen’s hand, among others, the letter of not later than 12.2.1827 to the Building Commission for Christianborg Palace. The meaning of the fragment is uncertain, but it is most likely a simple trial of a pen.

  15. For notes on these fragments: see the final draft above, where the fragments have been combined, with one exception.

  16. Besides Thorvaldsen’s wish to know how far Landini had got with his carving of the bust of Adam Gottlob Detlef Moltke, A212, cf. above, the fragment indicates that Thorvaldsen also wanted to prolong Landini’s employment for another month. This reveals part of the contents of the now lost letter from Thorvaldsen to Landini, see the list of lost letters.

Last updated 08.06.2015