Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location



Theodor von Hahn

Recipient’s Location


Information on recipient

Ingen udskrift.

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af kontrakten.


Contract between Thorvaldsen and Theodor von Hahn concerning delivery of the marble statue Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow.


Noi sottoscri[tti] con il presente contratto ci obblighiamo ciòe
In quanto a me Alberto Thorvaldsen Scultore Danese mi obbligo fare una Statua p[er] il Sig[no]re. Baron de Hahn rappresentante Amore di mio genio, ed invenzione di marmo di prima qualità, senza macchie ò altri difettiI notabili che possino ivi stare dell’ altazza di palmi sei RomaniII, da doversi finire nel termine di un annoIII p[er] la somma di scudi ottocentoIV. Ed in quanto a me Baron de Hahn mi obbligo pagare la sud[dett]a. Statua al d[ett]o. Alberto Thorvaldsen Scudi Ottocento moneta Romana in quattro rateV di s[cudi] duecento l’una ciòe, la prima anticipata, la seconda a finito Sarà il modello, la terza subbito sbozzato il marmo, e la quarta quando Sarà ultimata. In fide [x] Roma questo di 20. Agosto 1809

Theodor de Hahn
A[lbert]o Thorvalsen

General Comment

This is the commission for a marble staue by Thorvaldsen, now disappeared,
viz. Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow. The statue is only known from two-dimensional representations, see Mori, op. cit. and the drawing D172.

The original model was executed as early as the Spring of 1807, and a commission in marble already existed, see letter dated 30.1.1807. However, it is uncertain whether Thorvaldsen had, in 1807, made an oral agreement with von Hahn,
which was then written down in the present contract, or whether another, as yet unidentified, person had commissioned the work in 1807. The work, however, is only known in von Hahn’s copy which, according to Thiele 1831, p. 113 was sent to von Hahn’s native country of Kurland in 1811, where it may have been placed at his manor house Pastende (German: Postenden), five kilometres west of the present Latvian town of Talsi.

!http://fotoarkivet.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk/imgs/31/61/30579/collection/M1_28.jpg?(Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow, statue, marble, whereabouts unknown!
Cupid Holding a Butterfly to Hurt it with an Arrow
Whereabouts unknown, reproduced from Mori, op. cit.

The price of the statue was 800 scudi, as stated in the contract. This was a doubling since 1804 for a statue of a similar height – 6 Roman palmi = ca 133 cm – see Thorvaldsen’s Works, Prices.
Thorvaldsen wanted the statue paid in four instalments – as usual – in order to have enough money for materials and workshop expenses:

See more about this form of payment in Thorvaldsen’s Works, Payment in Instalments.

Document Type

Færdigt dokument af koncipist



Archival Reference

m27, nr. 4


Omtalt hos Thiele II, p. 135.

Other references



  1. For Thorvaldsen var marmor uden pletter et æstetisk ideal. Se emneordet Pletfri marmor. Så denne kravspecifikation udtrykker ikke kun von Hahns ønske.
    Pletter i marmoret var antagelig en af årsagerne til, at Jason, A822, blev forsinket i så mange år, se mere herom i Jason og Hopes bestilling.

  2. Seks romerske palmer er ca. 133 cm, se Mål og vægt.

  3. Værket må være blevet færdighugget i marmor på den fastsatte tid – i al fald henviser Thiele 1831, p. 113 til et tysk magasin fra 1811, hvoraf det fremgår, at statuen er sendt til von Hahn i Kurland.

  4. Prisen på en Thorvaldsen-statue af denne højde i marmor kostede i 1804 det halve, 400 scudi, se mere herom i Thorvaldsens værker, priser.
    Om de romerske scudi, se Møntenheder.

  5. Se mere om ratebetalingen i den generelle kommentar.

  6. De to parter har hver især underskrevet kontrakten, som er udfærdiget af en skriver.

Last updated 15.10.2018