6.6.1807

Sender

Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location

Rom

Recipient

Herman Schubart

Recipient’s Location

Livorno

Information on recipient

Udskrift: a Monsieur Monsieur le Baron de Schubart Chevalier de l’Ordre de Dannebrogue Chambellan de S. M. Danoise Son Ministre plenipotentiare et Intendant général du Commerce Danois en Italie à Livorne

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.

Abstract

Thorvaldsen kan ikke komme til Montenero pga. for meget arbejde. Han har ventet med at sende afstøbninger af busterne af Jacqueline Schubart, jf. A220, Herman Schubart, jf. A219, samt marmorbusterne af Conrad Rantzau, jf. A211, og Jacob Baden, A863, fordi busten af Jacob Laurids Thrane, Dep.36. først skulle færdighugges, så den kunne indgå i samme sending til København.
Musernes dans på Helikon, A705, er næsten færdighugget i marmor, men fuld af pletter. Kristi dåb, jf. A555,1, er færdig i marmor. De tre øvrige relieffer til Døbefonten vil Thorvaldsen modellere.
Han har modtaget marmor til de fire relieffer til Christiansborg Slot.

Document

Rom d. 6 Juni 1807

Efter lang Tiid at have levet i det Glade Haab at profitere af Deres Eccellenzes gode enbydelse paa det yndige MonteneroI for at tilbringe Sommeren og saaledes i Deres behagelige Selskab have kunde forklaret mundlig alt hvad jeg gierne velle sige Deres Eccellenze bedre ensomII jeg er istan til at fremsætte paa PapiretIII, maa jeg dog gribe til det siste, da jeg nu seer det ikke kan blive mig mulig at inrette mig saa at jeg kunde Rejse her fra for mine ArbejderIV skyld, maa jeg destovere opsette denne for mig saa udbeskrivelige fornøelse.
Jeg beder Deres Eccellenze meget om forladelse for di jeg ikke har sendt Deres BysterV, Aarsagen er at jeg først har fulendt Her Tranes Byste i MarmorVI, og nu velVII sende den tilligemed Grev RanzowVIII og Professor BaedensIX Byster til Danmark, saa de kunde gaa med samme Skib som Deres Bÿster gaae med
Deres Basrilief med MuserneX er nu nesten færdig[,] det gjør mig unt at marmoret ikke er faldet saa godt ud som jeg ønskede[,] der er endel Pletter[.] Dersom jeg var vis paa at finde et andet Stykke frii for PletterXI saa velle jeg gierne giøre det om igen. Derimod har jeg været meget lykkelig med Marmor til DaabenXII, Johannes og ChristoXIII er kommen uden ringeste Plet, og jeg haaber at di andre Siider vel komme ligeledes, jeg havde bestemt at Modellere de tre Sider til DaabenXIV paa Montenero – jeg kan ikke tenkke derpaa uden med Taarene i Øynene[,] Gud ved naa jeg igen skal have den Glæde at see Dem hvorefter jeg lenges saa usigelig. Jeg beder ærbødist min Kompliment aflagt hos Deres naadige GemallindeXV, og haver jeg den Ære med al Høyagtelse at forblive

Deres hengivne og underdaniste Tiener
B. Thorvaldsen.

P.S. fra ComitionenXVI har jeg endnu ikke faaet Anvisning paa den forlovede SummaXVII. Marmoret til de 4 Ronde BasriliefeXVIII ere ankomne heer til.

Oversættelse af dokument

Rome, June 6th 1807

After having lived in the happy hope for long to profit from Your Excellency’s kind invitation to the lovely Montenero to spend the summer and so in your pleasant company to have been able to explain orally all that I would like to tell Your Excellency better than I am able to put forward on paper, I , however, have to resort to the latter, as I now realize that I can not possibly arrange matters so that I should be able to travel because of my works, I am sorry to say that I have to postpone this to me so indescribable pleasure.
I sincerely beg your pardon for not having dispatched your busts, the reason is that I have first finished Mr Thranes’s bust in marble, and now am going to dispatch it as well as Count Ranzow’s and professor Baden’s busts to Denmark so they could go by the same ship as your busts go.
Your bas-relief with the Muses has almost been finished I am sorry that the marble has not turned out as well as I wished there are a number of spots. If I could be certain to find another spotless piece I should be pleased to make it again. Compared to it I have been very fortunate with the marble for the Baptism, John and Christ have come out without the tiniest spot, and I hope the other sides will come out likewise, I had decided to model the three sides for the Baptism at Montenero – I can not think of it without tears in my eyes God knows when I again shall have the pleasure of seeing you for which I long so inexpressibly. I ask respectfully that you pay my compliments to your gracious wife and have the honour with all respect to remain

Your obedient and humble servant,
B. Thorvaldsen.

P.S. From the commission I have not yet received an order for the promised sum. The marble for the 4 round bas-reliefs has arrived here.


[Translated by Karen Husum]

General Comment

Der findes et udkast til dette brev.

Document Type

Færdigt egenhændigt dokument

Archival Reference

Odense Bys Museer, L.Chr. Pedersens autografsamling.

Thiele

Omtalt hos Thiele II, p. 88 (som ukendt).

Subjects

Persons

Works

A219 Herman Schubart, Tidligst juni 1805 - marts 1806, inv.nr. A219
A220 Jacqueline Schubart, august 1805 - marts 1806, inv.nr. A220
A211 Conrad Rantzau, 1805, inv.nr. A211
A863 Jacob Baden, juni 1806 - september 1806, inv.nr. A863
A705 Musernes dans på Helikon, juni 1806 - 1807, inv.nr. A705
A555 Kristi dåb, Tidligst juni 1807 - Senest 1808, inv.nr. A555,1
A555 Maria med Jesus og Johannes, Tidligst juni 1807 - Senest 1808, inv.nr. A555,2
A555 Tre svævende engle, Tidligst juni 1807 - Senest 1808, inv.nr. A555,3
A555 Kristus velsigner børnene, Tidligst juni 1807 - Senest 1808, inv.nr. A555,4
A317 Hebe skænker Herkules udødelighedens drik, Antagelig november 1808, inv.nr. A317
A318 Hygieia giver næring til Æskulaps slange, Antagelig november 1808, inv.nr. A318
A319 Minerva giver sjæl til menneske skabt af Prometheus, 1807 - 1808, inv.nr. A319
A320 Nemesis læser menneskenes gerninger højt for Jupiter, 1810, inv.nr. A320

Commentaries

  1. I.e. the Schubarts’ country house Montenero, ca 7 km south of Leghorn.
    In his previous letter of 9.3.1807, Schubart had invited Thorvaldsen to visit Montenero in the summer.
    He had repeated the invitation in his letter of 5.6.1807, but Thorvaldsen had hardly had time to see this.

  2. Dvs. end som.

  3. Because of his dyslexia and his imperfect schooling, Thorvaldsen was not a great writer, see more about this in Thorvaldsen’s Spoken and Written Language.

  4. At this time, Thorvaldsen was working on several things, among them the works mentioned below, The Dance of the Muses on Helicon, A705, and the Baptismal Font, the marble version for Brahetrolleborg, cf. A555,1; besides Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow, Spring 1807, Cupid and Psyche, A28, Not later than July 1807, and several others, see the chronology of works 1806-1807.

  5. I.e. Thorvaldsen’s busts of Jacqueline Schubart, A220, carved in marble in August 1805-March 1806, and Herman Schubart, A219, carved in marble Summer 1805-March 1806.
    Here, however, Thorvaldsen is referring to casts of these two busts, which Schubart had commissioned in his letter of 15.8.1806.

  6. Marble portrait bust of the architect Jacob Laurids Thrane, Dep.36.
    The passage documents that the bust was not completed until this time.

  7. Dvs. vil.

  8. I.e. Thorvaldsen’s marble bust of Conrad Rantzau, cf. A211. Today the marble bust is at Schloss Breitenburg in Holstein.
    The passage documents that the bust was completed in marble, not later than this time.

  9. I.e. Thorvaldsen’s marble bust of Jacob Baden, A863, which was completed in september 1806.

  10. I.e. Thorvaldsen’s relief The Dance of the Muses on Helicon, A705, which today is on permanent loan in the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
    The relief was never completed, probably because of the spots in the marble that Thorvaldsen mentions here. The passage documents that the relief was almost completed at this time.

  11. To Thorvaldsen, spots violated the unity that the marble was to create. This ideal of beauty was undoubtedly based on the German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s aesthetic ideas.
    See also the subject heading “Spotless Marble”:/emner/pletfri-marmor.

  12. I.e. Thorvaldsen’s Baptismal Font, the marble version for Brahetrolleborg, cf. A555,1.
    The carving was completed not later than 22.10.1808.

  13. I.e the front of the baptismal font with The Baptism of Christ, showing John the Baptist and Christ, cf. A555,1.

  14. In other words, Thorvaldsen had not finished modelling the other three sides of the Baptismal Font at this time even though the front had already been carved in marble.
    In his letter of 30.1.1807, he had written to Schubart that he was going to decorate the other sides of the Baptismal Font. The result was Mary with Jesus and John, cf. A555,2, Three Hovering Angels, cf. A555,3, and Christ Blessing the Children, cf. A555,4.
    This passage documents that the other three reliefs and the original plaster cast of the whole Baptismal Font were not made until after this time.
    See more about the process in the Baptismal Font for Brahetrolleborg Church.

  15. I.e. Jacqueline Schubart.

  16. I.e. the Building Commission for Christiansborg Palace.

  17. This amount was an advance that Thorvaldsen had requested in letter of 16.2.1807 in order to be able to start on the works which C.F. Hansen / the Building Commission for Christiansborg Palace had commissioned for Christiansborg Palace and for the Town Hall and Courthouse in Copenhagen i København.
    The advance had been granted in letter of “16.5.1807”:/dokumenter/m21807,nr.8, so the money was on its way from Denmark to Italy.

  18. I.e. the four round marble reliefs for the façade of Christiansborg Palace which had been commissioned from Thorvaldsen:
    Hercules and Hebe, cf. A317,
    Hygieia and Aesculapius, cf. A318,
    Minerva and Prometheus, cf. A319,
    Nemesis and Jupiter, cf. A320.
    See more in the Commission for Christiansborg.
    Thorvaldsen had already ordered marble for these reliefs in February, see his letter of 16.2.1807 to C.F. Hansen.

Last updated 22.10.2015