The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

No. 13 of 10246
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location


1.1.1795 [+]

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af akvarellen.

Sophie Probsthayn [+]

Recipient’s Location


Information on recipient

Da der er tale om en tegning, som formentlig er blevet personligt overleveret, er der ingen udskrift. Tilskriften lyder, jf. det også i brevteksten gengivne: Til Jumf Sophie Probsthayn


Thorvaldsen sends a verse of poetry as a New Year’s greeting.

See Original [Translation]

Til Jumf. Sophie Propsthayn
Som Bækken mellem Blomster slynger sig
Saa Slynger sig Det Liv blandt idel glæder
og Aldrig Skiulte Torner Saare Dig
Hvad Plet Endog Din unge Fod Betræde
de 1. Jan:1795 B Thorvaldsen

General Comment

The text appears as an inscription on the watercolour C821 and is part of its subject.

The drawing shows a barefoot young woman in an Empire gown offering flowers on a burning altar. On her right a naked putto is bringing her flowers in a basket, placed on its head. In the background there are some trees, and in the foreground to the left some flowers are reflected in a brook which winds its way into the background. The text is inscribed on the front of the altar. Thus the subject of the drawing agrees with the contents of the poem.

The drawing is a New Year’s greeting to Sophie Probsthayn. Thorvaldsen has probably not written the text himself (see the related article on Thorvaldsen’s spoken and written language) but rather made a drawing for a verse written by someone else. The watercolour shows many formal similarities with the New Year’s greeting Thorvaldsen wrote to Sophie Amalie Kurtzhals, CX11 [Dep.19], which also illustrates a stanza from a poem.

It is not known what relationship Thorvaldsen had with Sophie Probsthayn. She was the younger sister of the painter Carl Probsthayn (see Dansk Demografisk Database, census of Copenhagen 1787 under Carl Propstein (his household and Sophia). He was a friend of Thorvaldsen’s youth, who, like Thorvaldsen himself, C.D. Fritzsch and Heinrich Grosch, was a member of a “drawing academy”.

Archival Reference
Document Type
Document, autograph
Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.
Other references

  • Dyveke Helsted, upubliceret tegningsregistrant, C821, Thorvaldsens Museum.

Drawings, Allegories · Drawings, Painterly Executed · Thorvaldsen's Women · Thorvaldsen's Spoken and Written Language · Friends of Thorvaldsen's Youth
Last updated 16.08.2021 Print