Roman Citizens Gathered for Merriment in an Osteria

Wilhelm Marstrand1839

The Nivaagaard Collection

The Nivaagaard Collection
Nivå, Denmark

In 1836, Marstrand travelled to Rome, where he stayed for about five years. Here, he carried out several paintings with more or less staged subject matter from the Romans’ everyday and celebrations. In an Osteria in Rome, there is dancing and celebration with plenty of local colour, good food and drink. To the left, there is a group of darkly clad gentlemen. They are members of the Danish colony of artists in Rome, including Jørgen Sonne, Jørgen Roed and Constantin Hansen. They are joined by a few distinguished guests, including the painting’s commissioner, who is lifting a glass, court wine merchant and Councillor of State Christian Waage Petersen. The contrasts between north and south fascinated Marstrand, and his portrayal of the Romans is idealised, colourful and charming. As is often the case in the artist’s populous paintings, the subject has a highly staged character.

About the artist:
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.


  • Title: Roman Citizens Gathered for Merriment in an Osteria
  • Creator: Wilhelm Marstrand
  • Date Created: 1839
  • Physical Dimensions: 74 x 97 cm
  • Provenance: Acquired 1998
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: The Nivaagaard Collection: http://www.nivaagaard.dk/en/public-domain/
  • External Link: The Nivaagaard Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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