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Martinus Rørbye (b. Drammen 1803, d. Copenhagen 1848)

“To italienske hyrdedrenge siddende ved ilden”. Two shepherd boys in the Roman Campagna. Unsigned. Dated Roma 1835. Oil on canvas laid on canvas. 22×29 cm.

Thorvaldsen's Museum, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of Martinus Rørbye, 1981 no. M. 97. Here it is mentioned that Rørbye did not finish the boys' faces, these were later finished by Wilhelm Marstrand.

The present painting is a repetition of no. M. 98: “To hyrdedrenge i den romerske Campagne” (Two shepherd boys in the Roman Campagna), measuring 50×62 cm. That painting was sold at Bruun Rasmussen auction 650, 1998 no. 265 for DKK 780,000. Now located at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh (inv. no. NG 2707).

Rørbye began working on the larger painting on 18 December 1834, and finished it on 26 January 1835. In his diary on 28 March 1835, he mentions the present painting (in Danish): “Worked on a small copy of my painting of the shepherd boys”.

Exhibited: Kunstforeningen, “Fortegnelse over M. Rørbyes arbejder”, 1905 no. 65.

Charlottenborg, “Udstilling af dansk Kunst fra Italien”, 1909 no. 316.

Provenance: The estate of the late Martinus Rørbye, auction 1849 no. 41. Here is mentioned (in Danish): “Drengenes Ansigter dog ikke udførte” (The boys' faces are not finished).

The collection of C. von Bornemann (1905, 1909).

The collection of director Hans Tobiesen, his auctions, part III, Winkel & Magnussen 388, 1954 no. 99.

Museumsbygningens Kunstauktioner, May 2003, no. 37, reproduced p. 23.

Woolley & Wallis, Salisbury, Old Masters, British & European Paintings auction March 2020 no 354, reproduced p. 156.

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80,000–100,000 DKK

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