The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

 
No. 568 of 10178
Sender Date Recipient
Bertel Thorvaldsen [+]

Sender’s Location

Rom

23.9.1806 [+]

Dating based on

Brevet er udateret, men dateringen fremgår af C.F. Høyers brev af 18.11.1806 til Abildgaard, hvor nærværende brev omtales.

Tidligere har man kun kunnet datere brevet til efter 21.09.1806, da et af udkastene til brevet er skrevet bag på brev af 21.9.1804 fra Giuseppe Grandi, se desuden den generelle kommentar.

Nicolai Abildgaard [+]

Recipient’s Location

København

Information on recipient

Ingen udskrift.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen has received payment for the three catalogue volumes of the Museo Pio Clementino. He corrects the misunderstanding that Abildgaard thought he wanted his professorial salary. Instead, Thorvaldsen asks for the last part of his travelling grant and reminds Abildgaard of his promise to help him. The marble busts of Jacob Baden, A863, and Mathias Saxtorph, A899, have both been completed and are ready to be shipped to Denmark. 
He asks Abildgaard to tell his father that he has asked Charlotte Schimmelmann to help him. He writes that he is happy sharing his lodgings with C.F. Høyer.

[Translation]

Gode Hr Justisraad!
Med megen Fornøyelse har jeg modtaget Deres Brev af 14de August og erkjender jeg stedse Deres Omhygellighed for mig. – De 80 Scudi for Museo Pio Clementino har jeg rigtig bekommet. – Angaaende Misforstaaelsen med min Fordring paa Academiet – Da var det min Mening at Kjere Hr Justisraaden vilde have Omsorg for: at de 3 siste Qvartaler af mit Rejse Stipendium som jeg endnu haver tilgode, maatte blive mig udbetalte; og at De til den Ende vilde forlange af Frølich e Comp. at meddele mig her en anvisning paa det af mit Rejse Stipendium som jeg ennu haver tilgode. – Professor Badens Byste er færdig og skal efter Forlangende blive afsendt tillige med et andet Byste til Doctor Schel.
Uagtet jeg er forvisset om at De efter Løfte haver mig i Erindring tager jeg mig den Frihed: igjen at bede Dem: at have Omsorg for: at mig bliver sendt Penge saa snar som muligt. Thi det hænder sig ofte at de Penge jeg skulde oppebære ikke bliver mig betalte til rette Tiid, og jeg behøver Penge hver Dag for at bestride Udgivterne i mit Værsted.
Naar De seer min gamle Fader er De saa god at hilse ham: at jeg har forlangt at [i.e. af] Baron Schubart at skrive til hans Syster Grevinde Schimmelmann at vise Omhygelighed for ham. Og at jeg med Taknemlighed derfor vilde ved mit Arbejde vise min Erkjenlihed.
At De Kjere Hr Justisraad haver Omsorg for min gamle Fader veed jeg; men hvad de Store giøre for ham, som var altiid saa rede til at love, ved jeg ikke. Jeg anbefaler mig til Justisraadens vedblivende Godhed for mig og med Høyagtelse og Taknemmelighed forbliver jeg Deres

ærbødigste Tiener
B. Thorvaldsen

P.S. Hermed følger et Brev fra Hr Høyer: det er et fortreflig Menneske jeg er saa glad at boe med ham, og det lidet jeg kan giøre for ham giør jeg med Fornøyelse

General Comment

Even though Abildgaard did not die until 1809, this is the last existing letter in the correspondence between the two artists, see a list of the entire correspondence in Abildgaard’s biography. It is known, however, that Abildgaard, probably in the autumn of 1806, sent a now lost letter to Thorvaldsen, in which he informed him about his father’s death, among other things, see letter of 4.7.1807 from Høyer to Abildgaard.

There are two drafts of this letter – a first draft, which Thorvaldsen wrote himself, and a second draft, written by his cohabitant C.F. Høyer. The two drafts must have been written in the sequence mentioned here as Høyer’s draft, unlike Thorvaldsen’s, is very close to the text of this finished letter.
The two drafts and the finished letter must have been written one shortly after the other, probably on the same day, because the first draft is written on the back of a letter from Giuseppe Grandi in Carrara, dated 21.9.1806. A letter from Carrara to Rome was probably at least two days in the post (see examples of mail processing times in the related article about this), so it must be assumed that Grandi’s letter arrived in Rome 23.9.1806. Thorvaldsen then wrote his first draft to Abildgaard on Grandi’s letter, after which Høyer corrected it so that the sculptor was able to write the final letter. The entire process probably took place on 23.9.1806.
See more about the changes that were made during the process of writing the letter in the related article about Thorvaldsen’s Letter Writing Process.

On Høyer’s draft, Just Mathias Thiele has written: “Draft by Hoyer of Thorvaldsen’s answer to Abild’s answer of 14.Aug.1806. The original is among Abildgaard’s papers.” However, Abildgaard’s widow, Juliane Marie Abildgaard later gave the original to Thiele, cf. his note in Thorvaldsen’s Archive, vol. I, p. 115. It is not known how it later ended up in N.C.L. Abraham’s’ collection of autographs in the Manuscript Department.

Archival Reference
Håndskriftafdelingen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Abr. nr. 2163, 4º.
Document Type
Document, autograph
Thiele
Thiele II, p. 65-66.
Subjects
Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Travelling Grant · Museums and Art Collections in Rome · Portrait Busts, Contemporary Persons · Saxtorph's Bust · Thorvaldsen's Cohabitants in Casa Buti · Thorvaldsen's Letter Writing Process · Thorvaldsen's Parents · Thorvaldsen's Financial Circumstances
Persons
Jacob Baden · C.F. Høyer · Mathias Saxtorph · Poul Scheel · Charlotte Schimmelmann · Herman Schubart · Gotskalk Thorvaldsen
Works
Last updated 09.10.2015 Print