Jørgen Roed
Scene from the Garden of Villa Borghese in Rome, c. 1839
Oil on canvas, 47 x 43 cm.
Inventory number: 0137NMK
Acquired before 1905. Bestowed to the museum in 1908


An Albanian woman washes her feet in Fontana dei Pupazzi, the fountain of dolls. Today it is only the antique granite basin that remains. The figure group from the 1700s with small putti and dolphins was stolen in the 1980s and has never been recovered. The grass in the park is green where the big trees cast shadows, but otherwise all is yellow and gilded with sunlight as only a summer’s day in Rome can be. The depiction of the evergreen oaks’ trunks and leaves is detailed and objectively observed. It is clear that Roed was primarily interested in the architectural study of the large fountain and the light that falls on its curves, as well as little sculpture group in white marble. But also the woman has a function in the picture beyond pure staffage. She completes the composition and adds a human touch to the study. Particularly lovely is the way in which the sunlight falls on her foot and fingertips, as well as her puffy blouse and headcloth.


Jørgen Roed (1808-1888)
Jørgen Roed joined the Art Academy at the age of fourteen as a student of the portraitist Heinrich Hansen. He later studied under C.W. Eckersberg and for many years, he was interested in architecture painting, which he practiced during his study abroad in Italy in the period 1837-1841. Here, he also carried out many landscapes and received commissions for altarpieces from patrons at home in Denmark. After his return, he supported himself primarily as a portraitist for financial reasons, but it was the earliest paintings that would be of most significance in the future. Roed carried out numerous artist portraits, among others of Wilhelm Marstand and Herman Wilhelm Bissen.

Translator: Jennifer Russell

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