28.7.1805

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Rom

Recipient

Nicolai Abildgaard

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Ingen udskrift.

Dating based on

Dette brev er udkast til det afsendte brev, som er dateret 28.7.1805.

Abstract

Draft: Thorvaldsen informs Abildgaard that the block of marble he has ordered will be sent in the autumn. He asks Abildgaard to pay for transportation of the crates he has sent to Copenhagen. He gives Abildgaard the busts of Homer, A751, and Raphael, A752 as a present. He has received the commission for the bust of Jacob Baden, A863, and will begin working on it soon. He writes that it is not his intention to stay permanently in Rome, but various assignments keep him there for the time being. Thorvaldsen grieves over his parents’ fate and hopes that some of the busts he has sent to Denmark can be sold to benefit his father. He wonders why he has not heard from his father.

Document

Gode Hr Justiceraad
Med fornøelse har jeg modtaget Deres Kiære og Venskabelige Brev af 31 Jan[uar]ii f:a. at jeg ej før har Opfyldt min Skyldighed at besvare JusticeRaaden er formedels jeg trode at have kundet give Dem nogen sikkerhed om det Stykke Marmor som De har bedt mig at forskaffe Dem, jeg Skrev strax til Carrara derom men da formedels Krig og Pest ikke er gaaet noget Skib fra Carara, men man venter i dette Efter Aar skulde komme nogle med Marmor til Rom og Livorno saa haaber jeg en af dem medbringer det omtalte Stykke, som skal blive befodret til Kiøbenhavn paa den Maade De har bedt mig om.
Den summa som den Danske Consul Ulrich i Livorno skal have for omkostningerne for de Kasser som kom til Kiøbenhavn med Fregatten Triton er 70 Piaster toskane som jeg beder De vilde være saa god at udbetale til hans Korrespondent i Kiøbenhavn da jeg engang har taget mig den frihed at anvise ham paa Dem saa ønskede jeg De ville afgiøre denne Sag, som jeg med taknemmelighed igen skal betale; det giør mig undt ikke at kunde erfare hvor min Portefeuille med Kobber samt den Bog med Raderte Lanskaber, addreserte til Hr West er bleven af. Min Tankke har aldrig været at ville have nogen betaling for de to Buster Homer og Raphael jeg har tilsendt Dem det er en saare liden Erkjendtlig for alle de Godheder De beviser mig, men jeg trode de medfølgende Buster Efter Baron Schubart var solte og derfor bad deraf at aftrække det for mig udlagte. Den med Hr Leutenant Scheidewis medsende Masque og Malede Protrert af avdøde Professor Baden har jeg bekommet, og skal med det første tage det under Arbejde; jeg faaer 100 Dokater for et Protrert lidt over naturlig Størelse, og tror ikke at kunde giøre dette ringere en som 200r Dansk, som bliver lidet over det halve af hvad jeg elles faar da vor Kurs staar saa sledt; i øvrigt aaverlader jeg det til Dem, Hvad De giør er vel giodt
At giøre mit Ophold bestandig i Rom, kan jeg oprigtigt tilstaae Justiceraaden aldrig har været min tankke; men at kunde udføre nogle Arbejder i Marmor som man har betrodt mig og som jeg er vis paa ikke i Kiøbenhavn ville blive forlangte af mig, er Hvad der giør mit Ophold her saa meget mere Entresand og nøvendig. men at komme tilbage til mit Fødeland er mit bestemte Haab og Ønske, der som jeg lever, og derfor takker Justiceraaden af mit ganske Hierte for Deres gode og venskabelige Plan som De saa heldig har udførdt ved Academiet til mit beste. –
Mine Forældres Skevne ligger mig smerteligt paa Hiertet, saameget mere da jeg ikke endnu er i stand til at kunde giøre noget tilbeste for min Fader; dersom de Arbejder jeg har skikke og de jeg vil skikke kunde hielpe ham noget saa skulde det inderlig Glæde mig. jeg bigriber ikke hvorfor han aldrig skriver mig til; jeg har paa to Breve ingen svar faaet, han er vist vred paa mig fordi jeg ikke komme[r] tilbage men jeg har som De lettelig begriber ikke kundet giordt andet.
Mine hjerteligste Ønsker for Deres Sundhed og Velgaaende følge Dem, beste Herr Justiceraad. De vedblive med Deres sædvanlige Godhed at ynde mig og troe mig med den sandeste Høiagtelse

Deres ærbødige og hengivne Tjener T.

Oversættelse af dokument

Sir, Counsellor,
I have with pleasure received your welcome and friendly letter of January 31st last year, that I have not before fulfilled my obligation to answer the Counsellor is because I thought I should have been able to give some certainty about the piece of marble which you have asked me to procure for you, I immediately wrote to Carrara about it but as because of war and plague no ship has left Carrara, but it is expected that this autumn some should arrive with marble at Rome and Leghorn then I hope that one of them carries with it the mentioned piece, which shall be transported to Copenhagen the way you have asked me to.
The sum which the Danish Consul Ulrich in Leghorn must have for the expenses for the crates which arrived in Copenhagen with the frigate Triton is 70 Tuscan piastres which I ask you to be as kind as to pay to his business connexion in Copenhagen as I have once taken the liberty to show him to you so I wished you to settle this matter, which with gratitude I shall repay you; I am sorry not to be able to learn what has become of my portfolio with prints as well as a book with landscape engravings, addressed to Mr West. I have never meant to expect to be paid for the two busts Homer and Raphael which I have sent to you it is a very small acknowledgement of all the kindness you show me, but I thought that the accompanying busts according to Baron Schubart had been sold and that was why I asked you to deduct what had been laid out for me. I have received the masque sent along with Lieutenant Seydewitz and the painted portrait of the deceased professor Baden, and at the first I shall start working at it; I get 100 ducats for a portrait somewhat bigger than life-size, and I do not think I can make it less than 200 Danish rix-dollars, which will amount to little more than half of what I usually get, as our rate of exchange is so low; besides I leave it to you, what you do is well done.
To make my stay en Rome eternal I can sincerely admit to the Counsellor has never been my intention; but to be able to execute some works in marble which I have been entrusted and which I am certain would not be demanded of me in Copenhagen is what makes my stay here so much more interesting and necessary, but to return to my native land is my definite hope and wish, if I am still alive, and so I thank you, Sir with all my heart for your kind and friendly plan which you have carried out so successfully to my benefit at the Academy. –
The lot of my parents is of vital concern to me, the more so as I am not yet able to do anything of benefit for my father; if the works I have sent and the ones I shall send might help him some, it would sincerely please me, I cannot think why he never writes to me; I have received no answer to two letters, I believe he is angry with me because I do not return but as you will easily understand I could do nothing else.
My kindest wishes for your health follow you, dear Sir. May you with your usual kindness continue to like me and believe me with the deepest respect

your humble and devoted servant, T.

[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

This draft differs little from the letter sent 28.7.1805. For comments, see this letter.

The draft is written by Thorvaldsen himself, but several words have been corrected by someone else, without much doubt the Danish diplomat Christian Stub, proved by comparisons with his handwriting. The last two lines of polite wishes have also been added by Thorvaldsen’s assistant.
In this transcription, Thorvaldsen’s original spellings have been retained, such as Entresand og nøvendig, which Stub has amended to read interessant og nødvendigt; undt, which becomes ondt; and giodt, which becomes giort. These amendments are not shown in order to give an impression of Thorvaldsens spelling, see also the related article about Thorvaldsen’s Spoken and Written Language.

Document Type

Egenhændigt udkast

Amanuensis

Christian Stub

Comment on amanuensis

Brevudkastet er hovedsagelig Thorvaldsens eget, Stub har kun rettet visse ord og tilføjet det sidste afsnit med høflighedsfraserne.

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 30

Subjects

Persons

Works

A759 Agrippa, 1799-1800, inv.nr. A759
A760 Cicero, 1799-1800, inv.nr. A760
A761 Cicero, 1799-1800, inv.nr. A761
A752 Rafael, 1800, inv.nr. A752
A208 A.P. Bernstorff, 1797, inv.nr. A208
A751 Homer, 1799, inv.nr. A751
A863 Jacob Baden, 1806, inv.nr. A863

Last updated 27.07.2015