The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

No. 684 of 10246
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location


Efter 23.11.1808 [+]

Dating based on

Brevudkastet må være konciperet efter Scheels brev 23.11.1808, som nævnes i brevudkastet.

Poul Scheel [+]

Recipient’s Location



Draft of a letter in which Thorvaldsen explains to Doctor Poul Scheel that the bust he commissioned has been finished for a long time.

See Original [Translation]

De har fulkomen Ret gode Ven at være fortørnet paa mig at jeg ikke har opfyldt min Pligt at besvare Deres Brev af 23 Nov og ennu mere da De deraf maa troe at jeg ikke har begyndt paa Sal. Saxtorffs Byste jeg forundrer mig der over den som har sagt at benævnte Byste ikke var beg[y]nt som har staaet færdig i mit Værsted og som jeg er bered at tilsende Dem med første Lælighed. Aarsagen til dette lange ophold har været følgende. De erindrer[?] Dem …

General Comment

This unfinished draft deals with the bust of the obstetrician Mathias Saxtorph, commissioned in 1800. The letter stops when Thorvaldsen has to come up with an explanation of why he has not sent the bust. It has probably been difficult to find the right arguments. The finished bust had been in Thorvaldsen’s workshop at least since 1806, but Thorvaldsen had had somebody else execute the bust. That appears from the draft of ca 23.9.1806 to Abildgaard, where Thorvaldsen writes: “Professor Baden’s Bust is finished and will be sent at the first opportunity, together with Saxtorph’s bust for Dr. Scheel, which (between us) I did not make myself, and which has been paid to me”. Therefore, it must have been a rather embarrassing matter to explain, and to judge from later reminders from Scheel, it is most likely that Thorvaldsen never sent a finished letter based on this draft. See also the related article Saxtorph’s Bust for more details.
The draft is written on the back of the drawing C185r, i.e. C185v.

Archival Reference
Document Type
Draft, autograph
Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.
Saxtorph's Bust · Thorvaldsen's Works, Executed by Others
Mathias Saxtorph
Last updated 31.08.2017 Print