0146 The Image of Travelling

Travel Paintings and Writings by the Danish Golden Age Painter Martinus Rørbye

  • Karina Lykke Grand (Author)
    Aarhus University

    Karina Lykke Grand (b. 1974) PhD, Associate professor at Aarhus University, School of Communication and Culture, Department of Art History. Since 2015, President of The Nordic Association for Romantic Studies. Since 2014, Founder and organizer of the research network "Nineteenth-Century Studies". Since 2011, Founding editor of the academic periodical "Romantik - Journal for the Study of Romanticisms". Since 2010, Founding editor of the website: www.romantikstudier.dk, and, since 2015, editor of e-romantikstudier/e-romanticism studies, online peer-reviewed, academic journal.

Identifiers (Article)


The Danish painter Martinus Rørbye was one of the Danish artists to reinvent the traditions of the genre of travel painting in the 1830s. His development of a new complex pictorial strategy was 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 1834-1837, and it is my intention to frame the conditions of 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.


Italian sojourn, travel paintings, 19th century, tourism, word & image