24.4.1804

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Napoli

Recipient

Fonden ad usus publicos

Recipient’s Location

København

Dating based on

Koncept til brev af 24.4.1804, som svar på brev af 6.3.1804. Konceptet er, som det fremgår af indholdet, skrevet i Napoli, hvortil Thorvaldsen var rejst mellem den 10. og den 19. april 1804. Antagelig er konceptet skrevet samme dag eller umiddelbart før det afsendte brev af 24.4.1804. Konceptet er altså senere end konceptet til af medio april 1804 til samme brev, der må være skrevet i Rom.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen is very grateful for the grant and asks that his deepest gratitude may be conveyed to the Crown Prince and the King. He promises some day to dedicate his talents to his fatherland in order to repay his debt. Thorvaldsen wants to withdraw the money immediately.

Document

Til Den Højkongelige DirectjonI for Fonden ad usus publicos

Underdanig P.M.II

Med en Følelse af Glæde og Erkjendtlighed, som det vil være mig umueligt at fortolke ved Pennen har jeg modtaget Den Høje Directjons Naadige Skrivelse af 6te Mart. sidstl.III, som underretter mig om at det har behaget Hs Kongel. Majest.IV allernaadigst at tilstaae mig en Gratifikatjon af 300 rdV.
Det være mig tilladt herved at bevidne for bønfalde Den Høje Directjon om at vilde nedlægge for Hs Majestæt og Hs Kongel. Høihed KronprindsenVI min allerunderdanigste Tak for en Velgjerning Gave som er mig saameget kjærere meere smigrende, da jeg i samme vover at see Vor Danmarks tilbedede Regjerings Biefald med den Fremgang jeg hidindtil har kundet gjort paa den Kunstes Bane, til hvilken jeg har opoffret mig, og som tillige giver mig et betydeligt Middel til at fortsætte samme, gjøer mig værdig til en Kongelig Naade og tillige opliver hos mig det stedse oprigtige Ønske engang at kunne hellige mine svage Evner til mit elskede Fædrelands ZiirVII, og til nogenledes at afbetale den GjeldVIII som Regjeringen s Velgjerninger har paalagt mig.
Ifølge den mig naadigst givne TilladelseIX har jeg under N Dato agter jeg at udstede VexelX paa Bankcomptoiret i Altona stor NNXI i Faveur DHr Cuttler & HeigelinXII her i NeapelXIII, som jeg da tør haabe vil blive accepteret

underdanigst
Thorw:

[I højre margin: ubetydelige penneprøver]

Oversættelse af dokument

To the High Royal Directors of the Foundation ad usus publicos.

Humble P.M.

With a feeling of joy and gratitude which it will be impossible for me to interpret in writing I have received the high directors’ graceful letter of March 6th which informs me that His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to grant me a gratuity of 300 rix-dollars.
Permit me hereby to express beg the high directors to bring to His Majesty and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince my most humble thanks for a kindness present which is so much dearer more complimentary as I in the same venture to see our Denmark’s beloved government’s approval of the progress I hitherto have been able to make on the course of art to which I have dedicated myself and which also gives me considerable means to continue this course and makes me deserve a Royal favour and which also encourages in me the ever sincere wish: some time to be able to devote my weak skills to the ornament of my beloved native land and fairly to pay off the debt which the kindness of government has put on me.
According to the to me most favourably given permission I have this date I intend to issue a bill at the bank office in Altona for NN in favour of Messrs Cuttler & Heigelin here in Naples which I then hope will be accepted.

Most humbly,
Thorw.

[in the right margin: insignificant trials of a pen]

[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

Se også det endelige brev af 24.4.1804 og et andet koncept hertil af medio april 1804.

Document Type

Udkast af koncipist

Amanuensis

NN

Comment on amanuensis

Koncipisten er endnu uidentificeret, men kaldes af hensyn til senere sammenligning nr. 3.

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 136

Thiele

Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.

Other references

Subjects

Persons

Commentaries

  1. The board of directors consisted of Christian Ditlev Reventlow and Ernst Schimmelmann with Jonas Collin as the secretary of the foundation.

  2. I.e. Pro Memoria – Latin for “in remembrance”, used to recall oneself to somebody. The expression was originally a polite introduction in letters to persons of a higher rank, often civil servants. Gradually it was also used more generally in letters to or from officials, often written in one word. The expression appears frequently in the more formal letters in the Archive.

  3. I.e. letter from Fonden ad usus publicos of 6.3.1804, in which Thorvaldsen was informed that he had received a “gratification” of 300 rix-dollars.

  4. I.e. Christian 7.

  5. Dvs. rigsdaler, se eventuelt referenceartikel om datidens møntenheder.

  6. I.e. Crown Prince Frederik (6.).

  7. Thorvaldsen was to contribute to the adornment of Denmark with, among other things, works for “Christiansborg Palace:/artikler/bestillingen-til-christiansborg and the “Church of Our Lady”:/artikler/bestillingen-til-vor-frue-kirke, which were both being reconstructed in those years under the direction of the architect C.F. Hansen.

  8. Here Thorvaldsen is probably referring partly to the charter of the Academy of Fine Arts, which provides that the recipients of scholarships must return to serve the King after finishing their studies abroad; and partly to the “gratification” of 300 rix-dollars from Fonden ad usus publicos, cf. the letter from the foundation of 6.3.1804, which was also from public funds and thus indebted him to the Danish state.
    It is obvious, also in this draft, that Thorvaldsen wanted to postpone his return to Denmark for as long as possible, and in order not to promise anything definite he just referred to the time of the repayment of his debt as “some time”. For more details on this subject, see the related article about Thorvaldsen’s Continuance in Rome around 1803-804.

  9. See the letter from the foundation of 6.3.1804, in which Thorvaldsen is informed that an account has been opened for him in Altona with an amount corresponding to 300 Danish rix-dollars.

  10. The sum was transferred by a bill of exchange, see more about bills in Monetary Units.
    However, Thorvaldsen did not cash the money via a bill on the commercial house of Cutler & Heigelin in Naples as he here writes that he intends to do. Instead he must have arranged with Herman Schubart – who was also in Naples at this time – to draw a bill on him in order to enable him to redeem the bill later at a more favourable price in Toscana. See more about this matter in The Only Price I Charge.

  11. From the final version of the letter of 24.4.1804 and from the communication of the foundation dated 6.3.1804”:/dokumenter/m11804,nr.6, it appears that the sum of 300 Danish rix-dollars had been converted into the monetary unit Hamburger Banco in order to secure Thorvaldsen against a loss on exchanges, cf. Ernst Schimmelmann’s recommendation to the King, reproduced in The Danish National Archives (ed.): Fonden ad usus publicos. Aktmæssige Bidrag til Belysning af dens virksomhed, vol. 2, 1801-26, Copenhagen 1902, p. 75: “[...] The board asks permission: to assign this sum to him at the bank (Bank-Comptoir) in Altona in Hamburger Banco in order to secure him against a loss on exchanges.” The recommendation was approved on 14.3.1804, ibid. For more details on the payment, see the previous note.

  12. I.e. the German-English commercial bank of Cutler & Heigelin in Naples. Heigelin is the German Christian Heigelin, cf. Arnold, op. cit.
    Heigelin was also consul-general for Denmark until 1804.

  13. In the middle of April 1804, Thorvaldsen had gone to Naples in the company of Count Adam Gottlob Detlef Moltke, cf. the Thorvaldsen Chronology, so he was in the town at this time.

Last updated 13.05.2015