Bertel Thorvaldsen

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Tilskrift: Til Commissionen for Frue Kirkes Gjenopbyggelse

Dating based on

Det fremgår af brevet, at det er afsendt en postgang senere end to breve dateret 4.2.1827.


Thorvaldsen lists the works which will be ready to be sent to Denmark in the spring of 1827 and confirms that he will take care of the packing and the transport from Rome to Leghorn.


Efter at have havt den Ære at modtage Brev fra Hans Kongelige Høyhed Prinds ChristianI, fra den høie Commission for Christiansborg Slots OpbyggelseII, og fra Hr Conferenzraad HansenIII, modtog jeg ogsaa med særdeles Glæde CommissionensIV meget smigrende Skrivelse af 28o Nov. f:a:V De to første Breve har jeg alt med forrige Post havt den Ære at besvareVI, og nu tager jeg mig den Frihed med disse Linier at takke Commissionen for den venskabelige Erindring af mig, og for dens gode Mening om mine Arbeider, hvilke skulle tienne til Prydelse for Frue KirkeVII, og hvilke jeg kun ønsker maatte være deres Plas værdige i denne skiønne Bygning.
Jeg har ligeledes tilskrevetVIII Hr Conferenzraad HansenIX angaaende de øvrige ArbeiderX til samme Kirke, for at kiende denne udmærkede Konstners Mening, føren jeg begynder derpaa. De af mine Arbeider, der færdige, om to Maaneder kunne afsendes til Livorno, ere Christus og de tolv ApostlerXI i Gibs, de tvende CariatiderXII i Marmor bestemte for Trongemakket paa Christiansborgslot, Deres Kongelige Høiheder Prinds ChristiansXIII og hans GemalindesXIV Büster i MarmorXV, endelig en DøbefongXVI ligeledes i Marmor, hvilken jeg tænker at give til en Kirke i IslandXVII.
Jeg skal paa beste Maade besørge Indpakning og Forsendelse til Livorno. De hertil medgaaende OmkostningerXVIII kan jeg forud umuligt bestemme, bedst var det maaske om Commissionen gav Ordre til vor Consul, Hr Ridder ChiaveriXIX, at udbetale det hertil Nødvendige. Hvad Arbeidet selv angaaer, er mit Udlæg for hver Apostel 200, for Christus 300 ScudiXX. Naar jeg enu modtager disse mine udlagte Penge, er jeg fuldkommen tilfreds, da mit Ønske kun er at kunne bidrage noget til Prydelse for mit kiære Fædreneland. – I dette Haab forbliver jeg, med dybeste Høiagtelse, Commissionens
underdanigste Tiener
Albert Thorvaldsen

Oversættelse af dokument

Having had the honour to receive a letter from His Royal Majesty Prince Christian from the high Building Commission for Christiansborg Palace and from Mr Hansen, the Konferenceråd I also received with particular pleasure the Commission’s very flattering favour of November 28th last year. The first two letters I have had the honour to answer by the last post, and now I take the liberty to thank the Commission with these lines, for the friendly attention and for its favourable opinion about my works, which are to serve as ornamentation of the Church of Our Lady, and which I only wish may deserve their place in this beautiful building.
I have also written to Mr Hansen, the Konferenceråd, regarding the other works for the same church in order to know the opinion of this excellent artist, before I begin the work. Those of my works, which finished may be sent off in two months to Leghorn are Christ and the twelve Apostles in plaster, the two Caryatids in marble intended for the throne chamber at Christiansborg Palace, the Royal Highnesses Prince Christian’s and his wife’s busts in marble, and finally a baptismal font also in marble, which I plan to give to a church in Iceland.
With the best care, I shall see to packing up and dispatching for Leghorn. The costs for this will be impossible for me to decide in advance, it might be best if the Commission gave instructions to our consul Mr Knight Chiaveri to pay what is necessary for this. As regards the actual work, my expense for each Apostel is 200, for Christ 300 Scudi. When I receive this money which I have laid out I shall be completely satisfied, as my wish is only to be able to contribute something for ornamentation for my dear, native country. – With this hope I remain respectfully, the Commission’s
obedient servant
Albert Thorvaldsen

[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

See draft letter dated not later than 12.2.1827.
See also the related article Transportation of Thorvaldsen’s Artworks to Copenhagen 1828” for a detailed list of the works which were included in the shipment and other facts concerning the transportation.

Archival Reference

Rigsarkivet, Kommissionen til Vor Frue kirkes genopførelse, Brevkoncepter med indlæg nr. 5 1832.


Gengivet hos Thiele III, p. 303.




A98 Jakob den Ældre, 1821, inv.nr. A98
A82 Kristus, 1821, inv.nr. A82
A86 Peter, 1821, inv.nr. A86
A87 Matthæus, 1822, inv.nr. A87
A89 Johannes, 1824, inv.nr. A89
A91 Jakob den Yngre, 1824, inv.nr. A91
A93 Philip, 1824, inv.nr. A93
A96 Thomas, 1821, inv.nr. A96
A99 Bartholomæus, 1824, inv.nr. A99
A101 Simon Zelotes, 1824, inv.nr. A101
A103 Paulus, 1821, inv.nr. A103
A105 Judas Thaddæus, 10.04.1842, inv.nr. A105
A108 Andreas, 01.03.1842, inv.nr. A108
A55 Karyatide, 1813, inv.nr. A55
A56 Karyatide, 1813, inv.nr. A56
A57 Sibylle fra Erythra, ca 1820, inv.nr. A57
A58 Sibylle fra Cumae, ca 1820, inv.nr. A58
A753 Christian (8.) Frederik, 1821, inv.nr. A753
A754 Caroline Amalie, 1820-1821, inv.nr. A754
A555 Døbefont, Kristi dåb, 1805-1807, inv.nr. A555,1
A555 Døbefont, Maria med Jesus og Johannes, 1805-1807, inv.nr. A555,2
A555 Døbefont, Tre svævende engle, 1805-1807, inv.nr. A555,3
A555 Døbefont, Kristus velsigner børnene, 1805-1807, inv.nr. A555,4


  1. Cf. letter dated 25.11.1826 from Christian (8.) Frederik to Thorvaldsen.

  2. Cf. letter dated 22.11.1826 from Building Commission for Christiansborg Palace to Thorvaldsen.

  3. Cf. letter dated 24.11.1826 from C.F. Hansen to Thorvaldsen.

  4. I.e Building Commission for the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen.

  5. Cf. letter dated 28.11.1826 from Building Commission for the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen to Thorvaldsen.

  6. Cf. Thorvaldsen’s letter dated 4.2.1827 to Christian (8.) Frederik and letter dated 4.2.1827 to Building Commission for Christiansborg Palace.

  7. Cf. the related article Commission for the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen.

  8. Cf. letter dated 7.2.1827 from Thorvaldsen ol C.F. Hansen.

  9. The Danish architect C.F. Hansen.

  10. Thorvaldsen had suggested to C.F. Hansen that sibyls and prophets of the Old Testament should replace the planned figures of the four evangelists at the portal of the church.
    There exist two models for the sybils, the Erythraean Sybil, ca. 1820, A57, and the Cumaean Sybil, ca. 1820, A58, but the idea was not realized. Instead, it was H.W. Bissen’s, Moses, 1853, and J.A. Jerichau’s David, 1852-1858, placed to the right and to the left of the portal, respectively.

  11. Christ, cf. A82, and the twelve apostles, cf. Peter, A86, Matthew, A87, John, A89, James the Younger, A91, Philip, A93, Thomas, A96, James the Elder, A98, Bartholomew, A99, Simon the Zealot, A101, Paul, A103, Judas Thaddeus, A105 and Andrew, A108.

  12. Caryatids, 1813. The marble versions in the throne room of Christiansborg Palace were destroyed in the fire of 1884, see instead the plaster casts A55 and A56.
    Read more about the caryatids in the related articles Thorvaldsen’s Relations with Poland and the Commission for Christiansborg.

  13. The Danish Crown Prince Christian (8.) Frederik.

  14. The Danish Crown Princess Caroline Amalie.

  15. I.e. Christian (8.) Frederik, cf. A753, and Caroline Amalie, cf. A754. See also the related article Commission for the Danish Royal Family.

  16. I.e. the marble version of Baptismal Font, cf. A555,1, A555,2, A555,3, A555,4. See also the related article Baptismal Font to Brahetrolleborg Church.

  17. Originally, the gift was meant for the church in the village of Miklabæ, Blönduhlið, Iceland, where Thorvaldsen’s father, Gotskalk Thorvaldsen, was born, and where his grandfather, Thorvaldur Gottskalksson, had been vicar. The baptismal font was placed in Reykjavik Cathedral.

  18. In a letter dated 28.11.1826 to Thorvaldsen, the Commission for the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen had requested information about the cost of packing and sending the works from Rome to Leghorn in connection with the planned transportation to Copenhagen in the spring of 1827.

  19. The Danish consul in Rome Luigi Chiaveri.

  20. This was the price of plaster casts of the figures. See also the related article Thorvaldsen’s Works, Prices.

Last updated 21.11.2016