The Reading Couple, before 1796
Pencil and brown watercolour on paper. 135 x 104 mm
Inventory number: Dep.20
We do not know whom Thorvaldsen was portraying in this early drawing made in Copenhagen before he left for Rome during the autumn of 1796. It might naturally be imagined that a drawing of this kind, which seems neither to have been made as an illustration for some literary or mythological material nor to be portraits of specific individuals, had its roots in Thorvaldsen’s own life. And that as such it was intended to be a memory of some cherished situation with a lady-friend sitting on his knee. But that is mere guesswork.