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

First 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 Justids Raad! meget lange Tiid
De maae tilgive at ieg ikke efter Skyldighed har skrivet Dem til; jeg har al den Tiid været saa Sÿg at ieg slet ikke har kundet arbejde og af den Aarsag saa melangkolsk at ieg minderI har kundet opfylde den angeneme Plig at skrive til min Velynderre. Hvad mine Buster de øvrige angaaer aaverlader ieg ganske til Dem Her Justisraad at bestemme Deres Værd. jeg veed ikke hvor meget af Omkostningerne for fragt og deslige der vil komme paa min Side, da jeg formoder at Academiet betaler det som ieg har bestem[t] til Samme. Skulde De endnu kunde giøre noget mere ud af Busterne og saa ønsker jeg at De vilde anvende det paa min Fader Da ieg har ikke endnu været istand til at kunde bidrage noget til mine Forældre[s]II Bedste og takker Her Justitsraaden for den Godhed De har havt for dem,
jeg forlod mig paa at Madam BrunIII[...]
Busterne vare alle gjote paa Spe Spekulation De til Hr Ju[stitsraaden] undtagene og en anden af menesteren Burgh i Madrid for Vilken ieg alt hog har taget modtaget Betaling ieg veed ikke om Hr kapetain Kapetain Berger efter migIV Brev til ham har udtaget Denne af Kassen. Hvis ikke beder ieg tilsænde ham denne med en sigger Sekker LeælighedV
– en Byste af den storelse som de ieg har sent vil omtrent [komme] paa en 30–40 Piaster. Midlertid er De saa god at lade mig vide hvilke De ønsker Da det vist vist skulde blive besørgede paa det oekonomiskeste.
– Endnu maa ieg takke Dem for Derris anbefaling til Slottes Arbejde som ieg vist skal udføre med al mulig flid jeg anbefaler mig Deres Godhed og forbliver De[res]

Deres f
Dem Forbun dende dene

Oversættelse af dokument

Sir, Counsellor, very long time.
You must forgive that I have not written to you as was my duty; during all that time I have been so ill that I have not been able to work at all and because of that I have been so gloomy that I still less have been able to fulfil my obligations to write to my patrons. As for my busts and the other things I leave it entirely to you, Sir, to decide their value. I do not know how much of the expense on freight and the like will lie with me as I expect the Academy to pay for what I have intended for the same. Should you be able to make more on the busts, and then I wish you to spend it on my Father as I have not yet been able to contribute anything to the benefit of my parents and I thank the Counsellor for the kindness you have shown to them.
I relied on Madam Brun [...]
The busts have all been made on spe speculation except for the ones for you, Sir, and another one of the ambassador Bourke in Madrid for which I hog have ceived received payment; I do not know whether captain Captain Berger after my letter to him has removed the latter from the crate. If he has not, I ask you to send it to him at a safe safe opportunity.
– A bust of the size like the ones I have sent will be about 30 – 40 Piaster. In the meantime will you be as kind as to let me know which ones you want as they will be seen to in the most economical way.
– Once more I must thank you for your recommendation to the work on the palace which I certainly will carry out with all possible diligence, I commend myself to your kindness and remain yours,

faithfully

[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

This is a draft of the letter that still exists today. There is another draft and a fragment of this, which must represent a later stage in the writing process as they are closer to the final version.
See this final version for comments on the parts of the draft that are repeated there.

The present draft is characterized by deletions and spelling mistakes, which probably means that Thorvaldsen wrote it himself. Regarding the sculptor’s abilities as a letter writer, see the related article Thorvaldsen’s Spoken and Written Language.

The draft is written on a sheet of paper which also contains texts that must be exercises, fantasies or, most likely, transcripts.

Document Type

Egenhændigt udkast

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 22,1

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. Dvs. mindre.

  2. I.e. Karen and Gotskalk Thorvaldsen.

  3. I.e. the Danish author Friederike Brun. It is not known what this unfinished sentence refers to, but Thorvaldsen may have talked to Friederike Brun about the possibility of her helping the sculptor’s poor parents in some way after her return to Denmark in 1803 after her travels abroad, which also took her to Rome.
    It is also possible that Thorvaldsen had got the impression from Brun that she was interested in acquiring some of the busts that had been sent to Denmark. He may have thought that he had secured an income from her.
    A letter of 15.12.1803 from Countess Schimmelmann, quoted in a letter of 21.1.1804 from her brother Herman Schubart to Thorvaldsen, shows that the busts were for sale and shown to prospective buyers in Denmark.

  4. Dvs. mit. Fejlen skyldes antagelig Thorvaldsens ordblindhed. Se evt. mere herom i referenceartiklen Thorvaldsens tale- og skriftsprog.

  5. Den kreative stavning af ordene sikker lejlighed vidner sandsynligvis ikke bare om billedhuggerens ordblindhed, men i dette tilfælde antagelig også om hans københavnske dialekt, der skulle have været udpræget livet igennem. Se mere herom i referenceartiklen Thorvaldsens tale- og skriftsprog.

Last updated 21.04.2015