25.2.1804

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Rom

Recipient

Nicolai Abildgaard

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Ingen udskrift.

Dating based on

Dateringen skyldes datoangivelsen på det afsendte brev, som dette udkast er forlæg til.

Abstract

Third draft of a letter: Thorvaldsen apologizes for his long silence due to an illness which has left him incapable of working and writing. He asks Abildgaard to sell the busts he has sent to Denmark and give any profits to his father. He informs Abildgaard of the price of a bust and thanks him for having recommended him for commissions for Christiansborg Palace.

Document

Gode Her Justits Raad!
De maae tilgive at jeg i saa lang Tiid ikke har skrivet Dem til; jeg har været næsten et helt Aar saa syg, at jeg ikke har kundet arbejde, og af den Aarsag saa melankolsk at jeg endnu mindre har kundet sat mig til at skrive. Dog er jeg nu noget bedre og har igjen begyndt at Arbejde lidet.
Bysterne vare alle giorte paa Spekulation, de til Hr Justidsraaden undtagne og en anden af vores Menister Buche [?] i Madrid. Jeg veed ikke om Hr Kapitain Berger efter mit Brev til ham har udtaget den af Kassen, hvis ikke, beder jeg at De ville være saa god at besørge ham den tilsendt med en sikker Lejlighed. Hvad de øvrige angaaer overlader ieg ganske til Dem at giøre dermed som De bedst synes. Jeg veed ikke hvor meget af Omkostningerne for Fragt og deslige der vil komme paa min Side, da jeg formoder at Accademiet betaler det, som jeg har bestemt til at forevise Samme. Skulde De kunne gjøre noget mere ud deraf saa ønsker ieg at De vilde anvende det paa min Fader, da ieg ikke endnu har været istand til at kunde bidrage noget til mine Forældre[s] Bedste. jeg takker Justidsraaden forbindligst for den Godhed De har havt for dem – en Byste af den Størelse som de ieg har sendt vil omtrent koste 30 40 Piaster. Midlertiid er De saa god at lade mig vide hvilke De ønsker da de vist skulle blive besørgede paa det oekonomiskeste
Endnu maa ieg takke Dem for Deres Anbefaling til Slottes Arbejde som jeg vist skal udføre med al mulig Flid ieg an[...] [...]ke Hr Baron Schubart har seet[...]

komI til De Det til han mig han Det som ikke kan

Hr Baron Schubart har merkket seedt min bedrøvelige forfagtningII og hos denne fortreffelige Mand har lovet at giøre alt muligt for mig, naar De nu med Deres Sædvanlige Godhed som ieg ogsaa erkjænder af Deres Anbefaling til Slottets Arbejde vil bidrage til mit bedste saa troer ieg vist, ieg kunde udføre arbeydet for billigere Pris her end i Kiøbenhavn

jeg RotheIII Rothe
Rothe Det sam
Jeg anbefaler mig fremdeles Deres Godhed og henlever
Til
Herr Justidsraad N. Abildgaard

Deres
forbundne
T

Oversættelse af dokument

Good Counsellor,
You must forgive me that I have not written to you for long; for almost a year I have been so ill that I have not been able to work and for that reason I have been so melancholic that I felt even less like sitting down to write. However, I am now somewhat better and have again started to work a little.
The busts had all been made on speculation, except for the ones to you, Sir and another one of our minister Buche [?] in Madrid. I do not know whether captain Berger has taken it out from the crate after my letter to him, if he has not, I ask you to be as kind as to send it to him at a safe opportunity. As for the others I leave it to you to do with them as you think best. I do not know how much of the expenses of freight etc. I shall have to pay, as I presume that the Academy will pay for what I have decided to show to the said. If you should be able to make more from it, then I wish you to spend it on my father, as I have not yet been able to contribute anything for the benefit of my parents. I thank you, Sir, I am much obliged to you for the kindness you have shown to them – a bust the size of the ones I have sent will cost about 30 40 piaster. Will you be as kind as to let me know which ones you want as they certainly will be sent economically. Once again I must thank you for your recommendation to work on the palace, which I certainly shall execute with all possible diligence I [an[...] [...]ke] Baron Schubart has seen […]

came to you it to he me he that which not can

Baron Schubart has felt seen my miserable state and with this excellent person has promised to do everything possible for me, when you now with your usual kindness will conduce to my well being, which I also realize from your recommendation for the work on the palace I do think that I could execute the work here at a lower price than in Copenhagen

I Rothe Rothe
Rothe The same
I still trust your kindness and am
To
Counsellor N. Abildgaard

Yours
faithfully
T.


[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

This is a draft of Thorvaldsen’s letter dated 25.2.1804 to Abildgaard. The draft is almost identical to the final version, but from the paragraph beginning “I must also thank you for …”, there are fragments which were not included in the final letter.
There exist two other drafts of the letter, a shorter “fragment”:/dokumenter/m28,nr.91,2, which resembles this one, and an earlier, not quite as finished draft of the same letter.
For comments on the parts of the letter draft which are repetitions of the final letter, see this.

The draft is written on the same piece of paper as the draft contract dated February1804 between Thorvaldsen and Countess Vorontsova concerning the execution of three sculptures and two portrait busts. The draft contract was written before the present draft to Abildgaard.

Document Type

Egenhændigt udkast

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 21

Thiele

Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.

Subjects

Persons

Works

A751 Homer, 1799, inv.nr. A751
A752 Rafael, 1800, inv.nr. A752
A759 Agrippa, 1799-1800, inv.nr. A759
A760 Cicero, 1799-1800, inv.nr. A760
A761 Cicero, 1799-1800, inv.nr. A761
A900 Edmund Bourke, 1800, inv.nr. A900

Commentaries

  1. This line of disconnected words must be regarded as writing samples.

  2. The expression miserable state was not included in the final letter, and this omission may be seen as an example of Thorvaldsen’s reserve – just as he does not mention what a strong impression the news about his mother’s death had made on him.

  3. Probably an acquaintance of Thorvaldsen’s, the Danish clergyman Waldemar Henrik Rothe, who was in Rome at this time.
    It is uncertain why Thorvaldsen repeats Rothe’s name three times, but it may be due to the sending of an unknown letter.

Last updated 01.09.2017