Palazzetto Farnese’s farm, 1883
Oil on canvas, 43 x 67 cm.
Inventory number: 0160NMK
Acquired in 1885. Bestowed to the museum in 1908
During his second stay in Italy, Zahrtmann completed a number of genre paintings based on the locals he met along the way. His genre paintings of the Italian people are often characterised by an unpretentious and relaxed atmosphere. At the peaceful farm of Palazzetto Farnese, a hard-working shoemaker is depicted sitting at a table with his wife. A boy stands at the end of the table, looking on with curiosity at what the adults are doing, while another woman is busy ironing in the background. Each of them appears in a state of deep concentration and entirely unaware of their surroundings.
Kristian (Peter Henrik) Zahrtmann (1843-1917)
Zahrtmann became one of the most important art teachers of his era at the Artists’ Study School at the Academy of Fine Arts, popularly known as Zahrtmann’s School. His history painting and his insistence on classical training contributed to his great popularity. He was moreover one of the founders of The Free Exhibition.
Today Zahrtmann is perhaps best known for his famous series of paintings depicting Princess Leonora Christina (1621-1698). Zahrtmann had a lifelong fascination with this heroic princess, and painted his first depictions of her under the influence of the Golden Age painters. These works further contributed to history painting experiencing a renaissance in Danish art. Later, Zahrtmann was among the generation of artists who aligned themselves with the modern breakthrough and naturalism.
In the last years of his life, between 1890-1911, Zahrtmann’s love of Italy led to him taking a number of trips to Civita d'Antino, where he produced a series of paintings in vibrant, glowing and sensual colours.