Lying model, 1833
Oil on canvas, 26.8 x 37.3 cm
Inventory number: 0241NMK
Acquired 2019 with support from New Carlsberg Foundation and for funds from testamentary inheritance from director Per Wilhelm & Mygge Kolbing-Nielsen and The Nivaagaard Collection’s donors.
Marstrand’s sensuous Lying model from 1833 is a rare sensual image for its time, and Marstrand’s first work of art illustrating a nude female figure. Through the image, he has accentuated the relationship between light and shadow, and the depicted object appears incredibly vivid.
In 1833, something seminal happened; here, for the first time, a female model was introduced at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Previously, only male models had been drawn and painted by the students.
In October 1833, several artists worked with the same back-turned model in Eckersberg’s studio at Charlottenborg, as seen in the picture here. These were Christen Købke, Wilhelm Marstrand, Jørgen Roed, and Adam Müller, but today only Købke’s and Marstrand’s paintings are known. Later, Marstrand painted several nude female figures, but Lying model from 1833 is his first.
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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.