Wilhelm Marstrand 
Figure study for Dancing Roman Woman, before 1838
Pencil and brown pen on paper, 28,7 x 37,8 cm.
Inventory number: 0210NMK
Acquired with funding from the wills of Director Per Vilhelm & Mygge Kolbing-Nielsen, 2012


In this charming little sketch, Marstrand has drawn the central female dancer and tambourine player in the large work, Romans Gathered for Merriment at an Osteria, which also belongs to The Nivaagaard Collection. He has initially sketched them free hand with a soft pencil line, and subsequently drawn them up in pen. From the pencil sketch, it is clear that Marstrand has tentatively drawn the dancer’s foot in several different positions, including the outermost, which he subsequently transferred to the painting. Marstrand is perhaps the Golden Age painter from whom we have received the most drawings. There are numerous studies, sketches and finished drawings from his hand, many of which can be considered small, independent artworks in their own right. This sketch of the two women has been used as a tool in the working process to build up the image and determine the positions and motions of the various figures.

Figure study for Dancing Roman Woman.
Se it here »


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.

Translator: Jennifer Russell

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