(17 May 1803 - 29 August 1848) was a Danish painter, known both for genre works and landscapes. He was a central figure of the Golden Age of Danish painting during the first half of the 19th century.
The most traveled of the Danish Golden Age painters, he traveled both north to Norway and Sweden and south to Italy, Greece and Constantinople. He was also the first Danish painter to take to painting in Skagen at the northern top of Jutland, almost half a century before the thriving community of Skagen Painters formed and came to fame.
Martinus Rørbye was born in Drammen in Norway to Danish parents Ferdinand Henrik Rørbye and his wife Frederikke Eleonore Catherine de Stockfleth. His father was a warehouse manager and later Superintendent of War, and had moved the family to Norway shortly before Martinus' birth. The family returned to Denmark when Martinus was 12 years old, shortly after the cession of Norway from Denmark in 1814.
Martinus was not inclined to schooling, but in 1820 started his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts at 17 years of age. He studied under Christian August Lorentzen and Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, a strong influence on a generation of artists during the Danish Golden Age. Rørbye was a favorite student of Eckersberg, and they formed a close association. He took to Eckersberges careful attention to nature and his strivings to capture details realistically. He was also greatly influenced by Lorentzenes use of color.
He won the Academyes small silver medal in 1824, and the large silver medal in 1828. He competed for the gold medal and won a cash prize. In 1829 he won the small gold medal for his painting Christ healing the blind, which remains in the ownership of the Royal Danish Academy. He never won the large gold medal in spite of repeated attempts.