Landscape with ruins, c. 1838
Oil on cardboard, 26 x 35 cm.
Inventory number: 0099NMK
Acquired before 1884. Bestowed to the museum in 1908
On his arrival at Rome, Wilhelm Marstrand found it difficult to start painting. In search of inspiration, he ventured into the mountains outside the city on his own to paint studies for an altarpiece. This landscape painting was probably completed during that trip. With its decorative qualities, the painting would be a fitting background for a religious work. With a few swift brush strokes, the artist has created an image of lush vegetation in the foreground, its shining surface highlighted by the intense Mediterranean sunlight. Further in the background, nature has begun its slow process to reclaim a ruin in the hilly landscape. The picturesque depiction of the scenery and ruin suggests an influence by the French artist Clause Lorrain and his Italian landscape paintings.
Wilhelm Marstrand (1810-1873)
Marstrand was among C.W. Eckersberg’s students and was, as the only one, very interested in narrative and illustrative painting. Marstrand worked with genre painting, literary subjects, portraiture and, in later years, history painting. He was frequently employed as a portraitist and painted a series of portraits of members of the Hage family, among others. Marstrand travelled throughout his life in the larger European countries such as Italy, France, Germany and England. He was particularly fascinated by Italy, where he stayed for several years. From here, he became a major producer of peculiar, touching, and often humorous or ironic depictions of the Italian folk life that so fascinated him.