Friday, September 26, 2014

Christen Kobke

A View from Dosseringen near the Sortedam Lake Looking towards the Suburb Norrebro outside Copenhagen
oil on canvas
53 x 71.5 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen

On the brink of the Sortedam Lake near the painter's home just outside Copenhagen, he has depicted a quiet summer’s evening shortly before sunset. The painting is infused with a highly Romantic atmosphere, but the study for the painting shows that he actually observed the motif in the middle of the day. He has, then, radically changed the light of the scene. He made numerous additions to the motif, such as the woman on the bridge and the boat on the water.

Christen Schiellerup Kobke (1810-48), born in Copenhagen, Denmark, was a pre-eminent painter in his country and arguably one of the greatest talents of Denmark’s Golden Age. He was little appreciated in his lifetime, but he began to win recognition at the end of the 19th century and is now considered the outstanding Danish painter of his period.

With the exception of one journey to Italy, he spent almost his entire life in and around the Citadel in Copenhagen, where he found the principal themes of his art. He concentrated on everyday scenes in and around Copenhagen and on portraits of family and friends, displaying great sensitivity in his treatment of colour and light and a warm intimacy of characterization. His landscape paintings are usually based on plein air studies.