Thomas Hope arriving in Thorvaldsen's Studio to buy Jason with the Golden Fleece, 1872
Printed by Em. Bærentzen & Co. lith. Institut
Lithograph. 451 x 291 mm
Inventory number: E2250
This looks like a portrait done on the spot. But in 1872, when Thorvald Jensen made this lithograph, almost 70 years had passed since the British banker and art collector Thomas Hope (1769-1831) had visited Thorvaldsen’s studio in Rome. Hope was full with enthusiasm when he saw the plaster model of Jason with the Golden Fleece in the workshop (inv. no. A52). From Thorvaldsen’s point of view, a purchaser had appeared at the very last moment. And in the clear light of hindsight Jensen has felt at liberty to portray him in an attitude reflecting sadness and hesitation. At the time, in 1803, Thorvaldsen felt he would be compelled to leave Rome against his wishes, as his scholarship from Copenhagen had run out. When Hope turned up, however, success had arrived. At least for Thorvaldsen. The contract was signed in March 1803, and payment was made in instalments. On the other hand, Hope had to send various reminders to Thorvaldsen before, 25 years after commissioning it, he received Jason with the Golden Fleece carved in marble after Thorvaldsen’s plaster model.