Thomas Donaldson




Afsenders adresse i London: Bolton Gardens Russellsquare


Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann


Thomas Donaldson skriver til Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann (EJB), at han er ked af at erfare, at opholdet i Rom ikke blev så indbringende for J.A. Jerichau som håbet. Han håber, at Jerichau vil få det bedre i sine hjemlige omgivelser i Danmark.
Udstillingen på Royal Academy, hvor et af EJB’s var udstillet, lukkede den 24. juli 1859. Først skriver Donaldson, at han ikke er blevet informeret om, hvorvidt hendes maleri blev solgt, men senere tilføjer han i en note i brevet, at maleriet ikke blev solgt. Han skriver forklarende, at mange af kunstkøberne i England foretrækker mindre lærreder lige nu. Det er ikke det engelske aristokrati, som aftager malerier for tiden, men rige handlende og fabrikanter, og de vil hellere have mindre malerier.
Donaldson arbejder på at få Mr. Hawkins fra British Museum til at se på de græsk-antikke marmorskulpturer, Jerichau har samlet, men han ærgrer sig over, at de fotografier, der er blevet taget af marmorværkerne er for lyse Han håber, det vil lykkes dem at få vurderet de antikke værker.
Donalson fortæller, at EJB’s portræt af hans barnebarn Mariette bliver meget beundret i familien.
Afslutningsvis reflekterer Donaldson over krigen i Italien, som netop er afsluttet, men har krævet mange ofre.


London Bolton Gardens Russellsquare
25 July 1859

My dear Madame Jerichau
            I duly received your letter announcing your and your dear Husband’s return to Copenhagen and the resumption of those domestic joys, which are to you the source of the greatest happiness. We f[r]equently heard of you & Mr Jerichau while you were at Rome, through my sister, who had the privilege of seeing you now & then. I regretted to find that the air & occupation of Rome did not prove so beneficial to Mr Jerichau, as you fondly hoped. But I trust that now, on his return to his native air & beloved circle, he will be able to resume the exercise of his art with that spirit and // intelligence, which mark all his productions.
The Royal Academy Exhibition closed yesterday; but I have not yet been informedx, whether your picture was sold. How delighted should I be to say it was. But in this country pictures of a smaller size are more easily disposed of. Our Rooms are not large enough for large Canvasses; as they overpower every surrounding object, & the eye likes rather to be flattered than surprised. I mean seduced by the finesse of execution of a small picture, than by the bold masterly treatment of a larger production. There may be nobles & men of large fortunes, who may like to possess large pictures, & are able to place them in their large Halls. But I think that, at present, it is not the aristocracy, who are Patrons of the fine art – it is the [Cotton?] Lords, the Merchant Princes, & they prefer smaller pictures. The Photographs of the marbles did not arrive till some days after the letter. I took an early opportunity of
[fodnote side 2:] xP.S. I have sent to enquire & regret to find that your picture is not sold. //
Sending them to Mr Hawkins, & did not immediately call, in order to lean him time to consider them. I however called on him on Saturday. He is a man of phlegmatic cold temperament, whom it is difficult to move. It is to be regretted, that the photographs were not somewhat lighter in tone, as I think they hardly do justice to the sculptures, & do not make them come out with the brilliancy that their merit seems to deserve. The athenian slabs are very fine specimens of Greek art, & of a period, of which we possess few, if any, specimens. There will be a meeting of the Justees ére long, & Mr. Hawkins will submit the photographs & letters to them. I have advised him to ask Gibson to give his opinion upon them.
Our little Grandaughter and her mother are now on a visit to us. Your charming Portrait is admired by all, & the likeness is pronounced to be perfect. She seems (Mariette) to grow even more like her picture every day. //
            So the Italian war is ended. The Peace took us all by surprise. It has been altogether, this Italian Campaign, been a fearful comedy. Commencing with “Italia Liberanda” & ending with “Italia Tradita”. What has been the good of from 50 to 100 thousand men killed & wounded & dead, & the expenditure of 50 millions on both sides? Lombardy added to Sardinia pro-ten, and Italy still more strongly fettered.
However, thank God, that Peace is restored. May Prosperity also return, & the arts flourish, & artists be honored as the real Benefactors of the Human Race.
We shall be most happy to welcome you, when you come back to see us again in England. I shall be delighted, if I can give you good news of your pictures or sculptures. Mm. Donaldson our daughter in law & all our circle unite with me in every expression of kindest regards to yourself & Mr Jerichau. & believe me my dear Madame, most truly & sincerely yr. faithful Friend[.]
            Tho. L: Donaldson





Sidst opdateret 10.07.2018