Wenzel Tornøe

Rubina From Capri

Wenzel Tornøe

Rubina From Capri

This fine late 19th-century portrait by Danish artist Wenzel Tornøe (1844-1907) depicts ‘Rubina’, a young Caprese woman.

In 1873, Tornøe had the world at his feet and headed to Italy to further his development. He’d completed his formal education at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, winning a medal, and had already begun exhibiting at the prestigious Charlottenborg Spring Exhibitions. Rome was a focal point, its colourful streets, interiors and outfits illuminated deftly by his brush. He was an exceptional colourist and flourished under the radiant Mediterranean skies.

Towards the end of his stay, he ventured to the picturesque island of Capri, a jewel of Southern Italy. And it’s here that he painted Rubina. How they met is a mystery but the portrayal is electrifying. It’s sensitive, captivating, and enigmatic. Her eyes are cast downwards, there’s a shyness, yet it’s offset by the hint of a smile. Her yellow headdress rendered sublimely including its textured surface. She’s alive with chiaroscuro and channelling the great Renaissance masters.

The portrait was shown at Charlottenborg Palace in 1971.

Monogrammed, inscribed ‘Capri 1873’ and held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas laid on board
Overall size: 17” x 21” / 44cm x 54cm
Year of creation: 1873
Labels & Inscriptions: Exhibition label on reverse.
Provenance: Private collection, Denmark.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £34,972

Wenzel Tornøe

Wenzel Tornøe

Wenzel Tornøe (1890-1948) was an accomplished Danish painter of landscapes, scenes and figures. He trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and undertook study trips to Rome, Paris, Holland, Belgium and Northern Italy. His works are held in numerous public collections.

Learn more about Wenzel Tornøe in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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