Saturday, September 27, 2014

Johan Lundbye

A Danish Coast. View from Kitnas by the Roskilde Fjord
oil on canvas
188.5 × 255.5 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark

Johan Thomas Lundbye  (1818-1848), born in Kalundborg, Denmark, sickly as a child, was a promising young painter and graphic artist, known for his animal and landscape paintings who died at the age of 29.

He studied privately under an animal painter, and at the age of 14 he became a student of the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen, where he finished in 1842. He received a travel grant from the Academy in 1845, which was renewed a year later. In June, 1845 he left Denmark and traveled through Germany, over the Rhine to Switzerland to France, and then to Italy. He returned to Denmark in July 1846 after a year and half. Then, he announced that he was going to live in the country for a year, and took a little farm near Helsingor. However, the First War of Schleswig, known in Denmark as the Three Years' War, broke out, and in the spring of 1848 he enlisted in the army like many other young artists. Eight days later on 26 April 1848, he died. There is some question as to whether he died from an accidental shot, or whether the chronically depressed artist took his own life.