Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location



Kunstakademiet, København

Recipient’s Location


Information on recipient

Udskrift: Til Det Kongelige Maler Billedhugg og Bygnngs Academie i Kiøbenhavn
Tilskrift: Til Det Kongelige Maler Billedhugger og Bygnings Academie

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.


Thorvaldsen reports to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts that he has studied Rome and its surroundings. He has copied classical works and finished one marble bust and started another. He intends to model a group of Bacchus and Ariadne, A1. He tells the Academy where his lodgings and workshop are located.


Rom d: 20 Januari 1798

Underdanigst Pro Memoria

Efter min Instruxes Bydende hver siette maaned at melde det Kongelige Academie met Opholdsted m: m: er det ieg herved ærbødigst giver mig den Frihed at endberette at ieg lever vel og arbeyder med al muelig flid. De mange merkverdigheder som her er har giort at ieg ikke strax kunde likke Haand paa Arbeydet forrend ieg havde giort mig bekent med de vigtigste Ting i Rom og de omliggende Byer. ieg har anvent endel af min Tiid med at coppere efter adskillige af de fornemmeste Antiker, har tillige forferdig en Byste i Marmur og begynt paa en anden. i disse Dage agter ieg at begynde at udførre en Gruppe af Baco og Ariadne som ieg her har komponert. saa ieg haaber at ku[n]de snart have den fornøilse at skikke Academiet noget lidet af mit Arbeyde. Mit Logis er for nerverrende Tiid paa Hiørnet af Strada Babuina og den lille Gade som gaaer til Theaterret Aliberti hvor ieg har mit Vedsted i Nerheden. for Resten søger ieg og skal fremdeles stræbe at giøre den Anvendelse af mit Ophold her som er overenstemmende med min Bestemmelse og den mig af Academiet givne Instrux.

B: Thorvaldsen

Oversættelse af dokument

Rome, January 20th, 1798

Most humble Pro Memoria.

According to my instruction saying that every six months I must inform the Academy about my place of sojourn etc. I hereby most humbly take the liberty to inform you that I am well and work with all possible diligence. The many objects of interest have had the effect that i could not get down to work until I had become acquainted with the most important things in Rome and the surrounding towns. I have spent much of my time copying several of the noblest antiques, besides I have made a bust of marble and started on another one. These days I intend to do a group of Bacchus and Ariadne which I have composed here. So I hope soon to have the pleasure of sending the Academy a little of my work.
My lodgings are for the present at the corner of Strada Babuina and the small street which goes to the Alberti Theatre, where I have my workshop in the vicinity. Otherwise I endeavour to use and still strive to use my stay here as stipulated in my scholarship and the instruction given to me by the Academy.

Most humbly,
B: Thorvaldsen

[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

Apart from minor spelling differences this letter is identical with Thorvaldsen’s letter of 5.1.1798 to the Academy of Fine Arts, therefore see the commentaries to the letter in this version.
The two versions of the same letter are probably due to the uncertainty of the postal services in war-torn Euirope.
The Danish address on this version of the letter suggests that it was enclosed in another letter to Copenhagen, possibly a fair copy of the draft of ultimo 1797 from Thorvaldsen to Abildgaard. Regarding this, see the general commentary to the version of the letter of 5.1.1798 and the draft of ultimo 1797.

Document Type

Færdigt egenhændigt dokument

Archival Reference

Rigsarkivet, Kunstakademiets arkiv, Akademiforsamlingen, journalsager, 1798, nr. 19.


Gengivet hos Thiele I, p. 123.


A225 Tyge Rothe, juni 1797 - december 1797, inv.nr. A225
A208 A.P. Bernstorff, Antagelig tidligst september 1797 - Senest november 1797, inv.nr. A208
A1 Bacchus og Ariadne, januar 1798 - juni 1798, inv.nr. A1

Last updated 07.01.2015