After training at the Dresden Academy, Surhlandt took up residence in Vienna in 1803 and five years later moved to Italy, where he became acquainted with Canova’s circle and the Deutschrömer, the German artists residing in Rome. He established his reputation by producing portrait drawings of Rome’s Polish and Russian aristocracy, always executed in a refined black chalk technique, as attested by nearly one hundred sheets now in the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett. Between 1810 and 1811, Suhrland portrayed the two renowned Neoclassical sculptors Canova and Thorvaldsen in two paintings now in the Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen (inv. B422-B423) and later engraved by Francesco Rosaspina. However, since Canova is here depicted against his sculpture of Hebe and not his Concordia, the present sheets might relate to a different set of paintings for which only the portrait of Canova is known (Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, 18 April 2007, lot 339).