A young girl and two fishermen, c. 1853
Oil on cardboard, 36,5 x 23 cm.
Inventory number: 0110NMK
Acquired before 1884. Bestowed to the museum in 1908
Two fishermen are sitting by one of Venice’s quay frontages. One of them is attempting to catch the attention of a young girl, pointing at the basket with the catch of the day. Behind him sits another fisherman wearing a fez, observing the scene as it unfolds with a private smile. During his stay in Venice, Wilhelm Marstrand was primarily interested in painting the local populace rather than its architecture. In a letter to his wife, he wrote that he found Venice’s supposedly magnificent buildings to be uninteresting and disappointing, while the local fishermen and their everyday lives had caught his undivided attention.
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.