Danish Arts Part III

By | December 18, 2021

Towards the middle of the century the French J. Saly with the equestrian statue of Frederick V on the Amalienborg square created a conspicuous work of art, anticipating neoclassicism. According to this address also worked Johannes Wiedewelt (1731-1802; tomb of Frederick V in the cathedral of Roskilde), the English SC Stanley (1703-61) and the painter and draftsman A. Carstens (1754-98) who emigrated to Germany, until to which Bertel Thorvaldsen gave art the form most perfectly suited to express and interpret the ideal of the time. Even in the field of painting there is no longer a need for foreign imports: with the Swedish CG Pilo (1712-93), a Rococo portraitist in great vogue, rival in the elegant world the skilled Danish painters Vigilius-Erichsen and Jens Juel (1745-1802) who paint delicate and graceful portraits. More literary and less popular was the scholar NA Abildgaard (1743-1809); his historical paintings perished in the fire of Christiansborg Castle in 1794. He also worked as an architect and made designs for the Freedom Monument in Copenhagen. Rousseau’s sentimental side of the century was represented by Erik Pauelsen (1749-90) and Kratzenstein-Stub (1783-1816). While all these artists worked each for themselves, the idea of ​​a “Danish school” came forward with CW Eckersberg (1783-1853) and his followers: Vilhelm Bendz (1804-32), who devoted himself to the study of color and of light reflections, M. Rørbye (1803-48), Adam Müller (1811-44), J. Roed (1808-88), and the finest talent of this group of painters, Christen Købke (1810-48), for whom the master’s love for familiar and everyday things had become a real passion (portraits of his father, landscapes of the surroundings of Copenhagen). Constantin Hansen (1804-80) managed in his works to achieve that monumentality (decoration of the university vestibule) to which the Købke, also known for its Italian landscapes and folk costumes, had also aspired. These subjects in vogue at the time constitute a large part of the work of A. Küchler (died in 1886), Ennst Meyer and Vilhelm Marstrand (1810-73), who were able to give their art a narrative form sometimes not devoid of a certain wit. Marstrand excelled in almost all fields of art, from monumental painting (Foundation of the university, in the university hall) and from the biblical paintings (Last supper) to genre paintings (scenes by Holberg), showing above all genius and imagination in drawing. For Denmark 2003, please check computerannals.com.

Quite apart from this group of artists worked the witty portrait painter CA Jensen (1792-1870; portrait of his wife and Eckersberg). A group of artists with nationalist tendencies formed around the art critic N. Høyen, such as J. Sonne (1801-84), a painter of battles and popular subjects; JT Lundbye (1818-48), painter and draftsman mainly of landscapes and animals; PC Skovgaard (1817-75), who painted the most grandiose Danish landscapes; J. Exner (1826-1910), reproducer of rural life; Carlo Dalgas (1824-1907) and F. Verinehren (1823-1910). The signs of the nationalist movement can also be seen in sculpture, although Thorvaldsen’s influence has long established itself. H. Freund (1786-1840) with the Odin, the Loki and the Ragnarok frieze for the Christiansborg who tried to introduce Norse mythology alongside the Greek one, remained for the technique still in the spirit of the ancient. The first realistic monument in the national sense is the Infantryman by HV Bissen (1798-1868), to whom we owe numerous monuments and portraits in addition to some statues in the style of Thorvaldsen (Mrs. Heiberg, AS Ørsted). Far away from this address are JA Jerichau (1816-83; Panther hunters, Hercules and Hebe), which tends to approach the great European artistic currents, together with the painter and draftsman L. Frölich (1820-1908; decorative and other paintings in the Copenhagen town hall) and the painters of marine A. and V. Melbye. After the Paris exhibition of 1878 the young generation began to seek their inspiration in France; PS Krøyer (1851-1909) and L. Tuxen (1853-1927), two masters of the great portrait groups, as well as the animalist and story painter O. Bache (1839-1927), introduced the new technique to their homeland more evolved than the naturalists and founded in Skagen a colony of painters who made free-air painting the principle of their art; and so they painted Krøyer, Michael Ancher (1849-1927) and Anna Ancher (born in 1859), their paintings representing the life of fishermen. Viggo Johansen (born in 1851) rather followed the Danish tradition by representing the closest and closest subjects: his own family, closest friends, etc.

Singular was the work of K. Zahrtmann (1843-1917), with his paintings with a lively color (Followed by Eleonora Cristina) and the master of soulful interiors Vilhelm Hammershøj (1867-1916). The painters A. Jerndorff (1846-1906) and Julius Paulsen (born in 1860) belong to the same address, which opposes naturalism to an intimate picturesque feeling. It is also worth mentioning the painter and etching artist HN Hansen (1853-1923), the animalist Th. Philipsen (1840-1920), the painter of peasant subjects LA Ring (born in 1854) and the painter and sculptor F. Willumsen (imto nel 1863; Mountaineer, bas-relief in the Museum of Fine Arts). Notable in the decorative art of the modern era are the brothers Joachim and Niels Skovgaard (born in 1856 and 1858 respectively; of the first decoration of Viborg Cathedral) with Einar Nielsen (born in 1872). After 1900 the “Danish group” (P. Hausen, Johannes Larsen and F. Syberg) played an important part in the art movement; and finally the present generation has allowed itself to be influenced by French “expressionism” (H. Giersing, 1881-1927; olaf Rude, born in 1886; Sigurd Swane, born in 1879). The monumental painter K. Iversen (born in 1886) also shows singular decorative and coloristic gifts. Among the most talented sculptors are A. Bundgaard (born in 1864; fountain of the Gefiona) and Kai Nielsen (1882-1924), a lively and playful creator; JC Bjerg (born in 1886) and Einar Utzori-Frank (born in 1888) should also be mentioned. Danish art has grown together with the serious and not very dramatic character of this Nordic people, and its modest and unassuming tone, but at the same time full of intimacy, has only been heard very rarely in the European concert, however at little by little abroad we began to notice the harmonious and fine art of a Købke and a Hammershøj.

Danish Arts Part III