Orientalist painting of a family by Simonsen

By Simonsen, Niels (Danish, 1807-1885)


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This painting by the important Danish artist Niels Simonsen is both a genre scene and a landscape painting. Set within a grand interior, two parents play with their young son. The father, seated on a chair with turbaned head and a long pipe in his left hand, holds his son on his lap. The son reaches towards a bunch of grapes held aloft by his mother, whose pale skin renders her an odalisque type figure. A distant, mountained landscape can be seen through a point-arch loggia springing from a twisted Solomonic column. The scene is light filled and idyllic, as emphasised by the ideal, distant landscape, and contains distinctly Islamic motifs, such as the door at right with its Moorish arch.

Simonsen moved from Denmark to Munich in 1834 and, between 1834 and 1842, travelled widely in the Tyrol, Alpine Northern Italy, and Algiers. The influence of Algiers on this orientalist work is clear, though the impact of the mountainous Tyrol and north of Italy can be seen in the character of the landscape. Simonsen returned to Denmark in 1842. This work is signed, situated, and dated in the lower right ‘Simonsen. / Munich / 1842’, meaning this work was executed during his last months in Germany before his return to his homeland. Simonsen’s paintings are represented in important collections, such as the Royal Collection in Copenhagen.

The oil-on-canvas painting is mounted within a giltwood frame.

Frame: Height 74cm, width 63cm, depth 6cm
Canvas: Height 59.5cm, width 48cm, depth 2.5cm


Artist / Maker
By Simonsen, Niels (Danish, 1807-1885)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 19th Century
Figurative Art, Orientalist
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas
Gold, Multi-coloured


74 cm / 29.1 inches
63 cm / 24.8 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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