Working Late to Provide (1885)

Tornøe, Wenzel Ulrik (1844 - 1907)

Working Late to Provide

Original: Hope Gallery Collection
Oil on Canvas: 22 x 27
Catalog# TORW-012

A weathered, bulbous woman sits beside a lantern darning socks. To begin her mending, she leans into the light to find the open eyelets of the yarn. Laundry hangs from a line behind her, while a pile of garments lie on the table. Her work proves to be long and arduous, as her eyes strain after a long day’s (and night’s) work. The woman’s room and trade reveal her meager status.

The palette is colorful and rich, while the juxtaposition of light and dark strongly contrast each other. The objects of her abode cast dark, intense shadows against a plain wall. Although the woman’s features are almost caricaturized and her life of manual labor is lightened by the composition’s vast palette, the viewers are still able to sympathize with her hardship.

Artist: Wenzel Ulrik Tornøe (1844-1907)

  • Born September 9, 1844 in Svendborg DK, son of Jens Wenzel Tornøe and Eleonore Jacobine Lacoppidan.
  • Married the artist Karen Elisabeth Blumer July 18th 1876, daughter of Grocer Samuel Blumer and Bolette Marie Abigael Wendelboe.


  • 1860-1865 - Royal Danish Academy of Art
  • 1871-1873 - Studied in Rome
  • 1878-1879 - Holland, Belgium, Paris and Italy
  • 1886-87 - Studied in Rome


  • 1871-73 - Rome
  • 1878-79 - Holland, Belgium, Paris and Northern Italy
  • 1886-87 - Rome


  • 1865-1997 - Charlottenborg Palace, DK
  • 1882, 1942 - National Art Association Exhibit
  • 1883, 1888 - Nordic Exhibit
  • 1895 - Nordic Art Exhibit in Lubeck
  • 1893 - World Exhibit in Chicago
  • 1901 - Town Hall Exhibit in Copenhagen
  • 1980 - Randers Art Museum Exhibit
  • 1980’s - “in memory of…” National Art Exhibition


  • 1864 - Awarded silver medal at the Royal Danish Academy of Art
  • 1902 - Serdin Hansens Prize

*Wenzel Tornøe is perhaps one of the most well known exhibited Charlottenborg Palace artists of that period. He was known for his poignant and anecdotal portraiture and genre pieces. Having studied under Carl H. Bloch (whose is considered the finest religious, genre and historical painter of his time), Tornøe surpassed many his peers in skill, technique and style. His works have sold at many prestigious auction houses around the world, including Sotheby’s, and many other works adorn the walls of private collectors, museums, and European castles.