The Image of travelling: Travel Paintings and Writings by the Danish Golden Age Painter Martinus Rørbye

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The Danish painter Martinus Rørbye was among of the Danish artists to reinvent the traditions of the genre of travel painting in the 1830s. His changes and developments of a new complex pictorial strategy were in many ways an answer to the changes in society, especially the advent of tourism. The new travel image had its focus on concurrency, everyday life and the secular world, resulting in images that anticipated the photographic travel image, the snapshot and the travel postcard. The advent of this new strategy proved to have a very long after-life, as tourists and travellers of today still lean a great deal on the image codes that Rørbye and his fellow artists of the 1830s invented. The aim of the article is to elaborate on Rørbye’s first European sojourn in 1834-37, and it is my intention to frame the conditions involved in doing such a trip with attention to what Rørbye saw and experienced and how he interpreted this knowledge, visually and in words. Rørbye is my primary research focus, but his artistic struggles are very similar to other artists travelling in Italy at the time. I therefore use Martinus Rørbye’s Italian sojourn as a prism of interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRIHA Journal
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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