Jørgen Roed (1808-88), An Artist Resting by the Roadside
An artist roaming the countryside rests in the shade cast by an overgrown burial mound.
As the world rushes past him in the background, he is quietly contemplative, drawing in the sand with a stick. Rather than follow the main road he has made his way into the landscape. The scene expresses a connection between artist and nature that was new to Danish art, but well known within German Romanticism.
The artist depicted may be Jørgen Roed himself. As a student of Eckersberg, Roed belonged to a generation of painters who truly paid heed to Denmark outside the ramparts of Copenhagen.
Painting after the life to achieve a more realistic ideal became a fundamental feature of the Danish Golden Age. Like his colleagues, Roed too travelled via Germany to Italy, visiting e.g. Rome and Paestum.