Bertel Thorvaldsen

Sender’s Location


Information on sender

Spor af segl.



Recipient’s Location


Information on recipient

Tilskrift: Til / Den Høye Kongelige Commission angaaende / Slottets samt det nye Raad og Domhuses Opførelse
Udskrift: Til / Den Høye Kongelige Commission / angaaende Slottets samt det nye / Raad og Domhuses Opførelse / i / Kiøbenhavn

Dating based on

Dateringen fremgår af brevet.


Thorvaldsen acknowledges receipt of the advance payment for the works for Christiansborg Palace and the town Hall and courthouse in Copenhagen. He is delighted to begin the work.


Rom d: 6d August 1807

Underdanigst Pro MemoriaI

I Følge Den Høye Commissions megen ærede Skrivelse af 16d MayII d.A. har jeg gjennem Banqve Comptoiret i AltonaIII ved vor Consul UlrichIV i Livorno faaet udbetalt den ved Hr Professor HansenV forlangte 1000 ScudiVI med Hensyn til at jeg saa snart som mulig kunde begiønde de ArbejderVII som den Høye Commission haver værdiget mig.
Disse Arbejder begiønder jeg med stor Fornøelse. Thi Taknemlighed mod mit FædrenelandVIII haver ladet mig stedse ønske Lejlighed til at bevidne samme, og hvad kunde jeg da som Konstner hellerre ønske: end at bidrage til det Kongelige SlotsIX Prydelse; Det vil derfor være mit Formaal og mit Ønske at disse forlangte Arbejder skal kunde vidne om at jeg elsker mit Fædreneland og Konsten. Jeg anbefaler mig med dybest ærbødighed den Høye Kongelige Commissions

Underdanigste Tiener
B. Thorvaldsen

Oversættelse af dokument

Rome, August 6th 1807

Most humble Pro Memoria

In accordance with the High Commission’s favour of May 16th this year via the banking office in Altona by our Consul Ulrich in Leghorn I have had paid out the by professor Hansen demanded 1000 Scudi so that I as soon as possible can start the works which the High Commission has vouchsafed me.
These works I shall begin with great pleasure. For gratitude to my native land has always made me wish for an occasion to show this, and what more could I wish as artist: than to contribute to the ornament of the Royal Palace; so it will be my aim and my wish that these commissioned works shall testify to the love for my native land and art. I commend myself with the deepest respect as the High Commission’s

Most humble servant,
B. Thorvaldsen

[Translated by Karen Husum]

Document Type

Færdigt egenhændigt dokument

Archival Reference

m28, nr. 3


Ikke omtalt hos Thiele.




  1. Latin for “in remembrance”, used to recall oneself to somebody. The expression was originally a polite introduction in letters to persons of a higher rank, often civil servants. Gradually it was also used more generally in letters to or from officials, often written in one word. The expression appears frequently in the more formal letters in the Archive.

  2. I.e. letter of 16.5.1807.

  3. I.e. the royal Danish banking office in Altona, see letter of 16.5.1807.
    The transfer of money from Copenhagen to Rome went through Altona and Leghorn, probably to obtain a better rate by exchanging into the currency hamburger banco, see more about this in “Monetary Units”:/artikler/moentenheder and Bills of Exchange.

  4. I.e. the Danish consul in Leghorn, J.C. Ulrich.

  5. I.e. the Danish architect C.F. Hansen.

  6. In his letter of 16.2.1807, Thorvaldsen had asked Hansen arrange for an advance of 1000 scudi so that he could begin the works that Hansen had commissioned from him, cf. the following sentence.
    It is remarkable, however, that Thorvaldsen here represents the matter to the Building Commission for Christiansborg as if he himself was not the one to ask for the advance. A possible explanation is suggested in the Commission for the Town Hall and Courthouse.

  7. In letter of 31.12.1806, the Building Commission for Christiansborg had commissioned works from Thorvaldsen through C. F. Hansen. See more about these in the Commission for Christiansborg and the “Commission for the Town Hall and Courthouse”:/artikler/bestillingen-til-raad-og-domhuset.

  8. The gratitude to Denmark that Thorvaldsens expresses here and below must be understood as more than just polite phrases. In letter of 6.3.1804, he had obtained official permission to stay in Rome even though he was actually obliged to return to Denmark. The arrangement was that the sculptor could execute works for the Danish state equally well in Rome. This is what Thorvaldsen is indirectly referring to here: he wants to “show” his gratitude by executing works for the Danish state.
    See more about this in Thorvaldsen’s Continuance in Rome 1803-1804.

  9. I.e. Christiansborg Palace. It is remarkable that Thorvaldsen here only mentions one part of the works that had been commissioned and apparently overlooks the works commissioned for the town hall and courthouse in Copenhagen. A possible explanation for this is suggested in the Commission for the Town Hall and Courthouse.

Last updated 14.10.2015