7.1.1822

Afsender

Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound

Afsendersted

Rom

Modtager

Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound

Modtagersted

Rom

Dateringsbegrundelse

Dateringen fremgår af dokumentet.

Resumé

Jarlen af Minto beskriver et besøg på Thorvaldsens og Canovas atelierer og sammenligner de to kunstneres færdigheder.

Dokument

In the morning I was at Thorwaldson’s in hopes of obtaining his sitting shepherdI, which is fractured by a fall, but it is sold. He told me that he was paid 3000 zequinsII, nearly £1500, for the fine statue of PoniatowskyIII which he is to finish in marble in three years. It is a splendid work, one of the finest modern statues in existence. He told me that a sitting consular figure, but only of the natural size, with basse reliefs on the pedestal would cost about the same sum. I afterwards went to Canova’sIV studio and am more than ever confirmed in my opinion of his great inferiority to Torwaldson in every thing except the surface he gives his marbleV. Scarcely any one figure of Canova’s is free from affectation, and few of them have either in attitude or countenance any natural expression. I looked round in vain for a bust I might be tempted to purchase till I came to one of Marcus Aurelius (a young man) which I found was an ancient work.

Torwalson’s compositions, on the contrary, are full of genious. The expression is natural & easy, and some of his best works if they received a last finish from Canova might approach the excellence of ancient sculpture. But Thorwaldson himself does little to the marble, and his statues are less than those of almost any other artist the actual work of the master; indeed they betray this too strongly. In conversing with Thorwaldson of the minute and imperceptible touches which I think must contribute much to the inimitable beauty of the old statues, he did not appear to think that any inequality of surface could be so slight as to escape our sight in proper lights. Yet my own impression remains, that in passing the hand over the dying gladiatorVI I can perceive an undulation of surface expressing to the touch the presence of muscles &c. which, being in a state of response or deeply seated, could not without exaggeration be distinctly expressed to the eye. In many modern statues the contours of the parts are most delicately expressed with anatomical truth; but in passing my hand over them I feel nothing but what I can see. In an ancient statue every muscle which, in a state of exertion could be seen, is, when in rest, still expressed by, to the eye, an imperceptible undulation of surface; which, tho only to be detected by passing the hand over it, must add to the truth and effect of the figure.

Generel kommentar

Lord Minto førte dagbog under sit ophold i Rom 1821-1822, og i dette indlæg af 7.1.1822 beskriver han sit besøg på Thorvaldsens og Canovas atelierer. Han lader til at have haft et ønske om at købe Thorvaldsens Hyrdedreng, jf. A177, men denne var allerede blevet solgt til anden side. Muligvis var der tale om det eksemplar, som Thorvaldsen havde hugget til Edward Divett, men som pga. dennes død blev solgt til Jacob von Krause.

Uddraget er gengivet efter Brown, op. cit., p. 75.

Arkivplacering

National Library of Scotland, MSS 11986-7

Thiele

Ikke omtalt hos Thiele, men det nævnte eksemplar af Hyrdedrengen omtales i Thiele II, p. 351.

Andre referencer

Emneord

Personer

Værker

A177 Hyrdedreng, 1817, inv.nr. A177
A123 Józef Poniatowski, 1826-1827, inv.nr. A123
A126 Józef Poniatowski, 1822, inv.nr. A126

Kommentarer

  1. Thorvaldsens Hyrdedreng, jf. A177. Muligvis er der her tale om det eksemplar, som Thorvaldsen huggede til Edward Divett, som dog døde i 1819 og aldrig fik statuen leveret. Derfor stod den på Thorvaldsens atelier, og blev i 1820 beskadiget ved en ulykke, se Gulvkollapset i Thorvaldsens værksted. Ifølge Thiele, op. cit., blev dette eksemplar senere restaureret og købt af Jacob von Krause.

  2. Sequiner eller zecchiner var en romersk møntenhed i guld, og 3000 sequiner var en stor sum, svarende til den løn en professor på Kunstakademiet i første del af 1800-tallet ville optjene på 30 år, jf. artiklen om møntenheder. Thorvaldsen modtog ifølge kontrakten af 8.7.1818 12.000 scudi for rytterstatuen, hvilket må have svaret til de nævnte 3000 sequiner. Se i øvrigt Thorvaldsens værker, priser.

  3. Thorvaldsens rytterstatue af den polske statsmand og general Józef Poniatowski, hvis statue Thorvaldsen udførte med henblik på opstilling i Warszawa.

  4. Den italienske billedhugger Antonio Canova.

  5. Canova var kendt for at give sine skulpturer en blankpoleret overflade, mens Thorvaldsen foretrak den matte finish.

  6. Den såkaldte Døende galler, en antik romersk statue, der befinder sig på Musei Capitolini.

Sidst opdateret 20.07.2016