Overbeck painted his idealized portrait of Franz Pforr in Rome in 1810. It is one of the most important Nazarene works and was intended to show his friend in a state of complete happiness. Overbeck created this work in response to a dream of Pforr’s, in which the latter saw him self as a history painter in a room lined with old masters, entranced by the presence of a beautiful woman. In Overbeck’s painting Pforr, finely dressed in old German costume, sits in the arch of a Gothic window. Like a Madonna, his “wife” is reading in the Bible as she kneels, holding her handwork. The back ground of an old German town and an Italian coast line evokes the Nazarene ideal of the inseparable bond uniting German and Italian art.