20.5.1807

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Rom

Recipient

Laurits Engelstoft

Recipient’s Location

Antagelig København

Information on recipient

Tilskrift: Til / S:T:I Hr Professor Engelstoft
Ingen udskrift.

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen accepts the commission for the portrait bust of Henrik Hielmstierne, cf. A210 and specifies the kind of pictorial material he needs. The price is 200 scudi.

Document

Rom d 20de May 1807

I Følge Hr ProfessorensII meget Ærede af 29d AprilIII giver ieg mig her ved den Frihed at meddeele Dem disse Linier til fornøden Efterretning – For at forfærtige der forlangte Geheimeraad HielmstirnesIV BysteV anseer ieg nødvendig: at mig sendes de omnævnte lignende Portraitter, af Gibs Bystet blot MaskenVI – Hr Professoren vilde tillige meddeele Grev RosenkroneVII at ieg fornærværende Tiid ejer smukt Cararisk MarmorVIII, saa at det fra min Side ikke skal mangle at opfylde Grevens Ønske –
De vilde herimod have Omsorg for: at mig, ved at blive beskiæftiget her med, bliver hos en Banqu[i]er her anviist den SummaIX som ieg almindeligen faar for et saadant Byste lidet over naturlig Størrelse, nemlig 200 Scud:X saaledes at ieg strax kan hæve det halve og naar Bystet er færdig til Afsending det andet hundrede ScudiXI.
S.T.XII Professor ZoegaXIII og Baron BraunXIV lader Hr Professoren paa det forbindligste hilse, og haver ieg den Ære med al Høyagtelse at undertegne mig

Deres
hengivne

Oversættelse af dokument

Rome, May 20th 1807

According to the Professor’s of April 29th I hereby give myself the liberty to send you these lines for necessary information – To execute the commissioned bust of Privy Councillor Hielmstierne I consider it necessary: that the mentioned lifelike portraits are sent to me, from the plaster bust merely the mask – Mr Professor would also impart to Count Rosencrone that at present I own some beautiful Carraran marble, so that from my part nothing shall lack to fulfil the Count’s wish –
Against this you would take care that: being occupied with this a sum shall be assigned at a banker here for me, the sum which I usually receive for such a bust a little above life size, namely 200 Scudi, so that I immediately can draw half of it and when the bust has been finished for dispatching the other hundred Scudi.
S.T. Professor Zoëga and Braun, the baron send their most faithful regards and I have the honour with deep respect to sign myself,

Yours
ever,


[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

This draft is Thorvaldsen’s acceptance of Engelstoft’s commission for the bust of Hielmstierne, cf. A210. The bust, however, was not executed until 1812.


This draft was written by C.F. Høyer, and a finished letter was sent off, as appears from Engelstoft’s answer of 23.12.1807.

Document Type

Udkast af koncipist

Amanuensis

C.F. Høyer

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 36

Other references

Subjects

Persons

Works

A210 Henrik Hielmstierne, ca 1812, inv.nr. A210

Commentaries

  1. Dvs. salvo titulo, der er latin for “med forbehold for titlen”. Udtrykket bruges i tilskrifter på breve, når man vil angive, at man ikke kender titlen, eller at denne formalitet ikke er nødvendig.

  2. I.e. the recipient, the Danish historian Laurits Engelstoft..

  3. See Engelstoft’s letter of 29.4.1807.

  4. The late Danish civil servant, historian, art and book collector Henrik Hielmstierne.

  5. I.e. what became Thorvaldsen’s portrait bust in marble of Henrik Hielmstierne, the Royal Library, Copenhagen, cf. A210.

  6. Thorvaldsen is referring to the plaster portrait bust by the sculptor Hartman Beeken (1743-1781), mentioned in Engelstoft’s letter.
    Thorvaldsen only needed a plaster cast of the face, the “mask”, as he calls it here.

  7. The Danish art collector Count Marcus Gerhard Rosencrone, who commissioned the work. Engelstoft was merely the intermediary.

  8. The finest marble from Carrara.

  9. Bills of exchange were used to transfer money from Denmark to Italy, see more about this in Bills of Exchange.

  10. At that time, this was Thorvaldsen’s fixed price for a portrait bust in marble “in slightly more than natural size”, see Thorvaldsen’s Works, Prices.

  11. This form of payment in installments was Thorvaldsen’s usual practice. See more about this in Thorvaldsen’s Works, Payment in Installments.

  12. Dvs. salvo titulo, der er latin for “med forbehold for titlen”. Udtrykket bruges i tilskrifter på breve, når man vil angive, at man ikke kender titlen, eller at denne formalitet ikke er nødvendig.

  13. Thorvaldsen’s good friend and mentor, Georg Zoëga..

  14. The Norwegian John Brown, who was called Baron Brown by his friends.

Last updated 24.09.2015