Wilhelm von Humboldt and Georg Zoëga, 1804-1805
Carbonpencil on light brown paper. Inscriptions in pencil. 429 x 225 mm
Inventory number: C79v
The Roman home of Wilhelm and Charlotte von Humboldt, two German intellectuals, was the meeting place for numerous artists, scientists and diplomats. Thorvaldsen was also a regular guest there, and it was here he met the archaeologist Georg Zoëga. The drawing shows Zoëga on the far right, with Wilhelm von Humboldt at the centre, both in sharp profile. On the far left, Humboldt is seen again, in ¾ profile, but the hatching suggests the artist was not satisfied with his portrait. Thorvaldsen did a further three drawings of Zoëga, his cicerone, and in 1808 he made a portrait bust of Wilhelm von Humboldt.