Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 117

   ‒   
 .
Naval Frigate Under Sail
(Orlogsfregat under sejl)
Oil, canvas,
in. (
       :
Commander Sølling (
); Bruun Rasmussen, Auction
, lot
, ill.
         :
Philip Weilbach,
Maleren C. W. Eckersberg, Levned og Værker,
; Emil Hannover,
C.W. Eckersberg,
, no.
, p.
, ill. p.
; Henrik Bramsen,
Om C.W. Eckersberg og hans mariner,
; Dorthe Falcon
Møller, Jens Lorentzen, Anders Monrad Møller,
Niels Truslew, Skibe i søen
; Dorthe Falcon Møller, Skibe i
søen in:
C.W. Eckersberg,
Aarhus Kunstmuseum
, pp.
; Hanne Poulsen,
Danske skibsportrætmalere,
Kasper Monrad,
The Golden Age of Danish Painting,
Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
(on Eckersberg pp.
); Philip
Conisbee, Kasper Monrad, Lene Bøgh Rønberg,
er Wilhelm Eckersberg
, National Gallery of Art, Washington
(on Eckersberg as a marine painter)
he art historian Emil Hannover considered this painting of a naval frigate under full sail in the Sound
near Kronborg Castle at Helsingør to be one of Eckersberg’s earliest marine paintings. It is the
rst such
in the list of works contained in his
monograph, where it stands as number
. Its counterpart, num-
, shows a naval brig under sail. Both paintings were at that time owned by Commander Sølling of
Hannover describes them thus:
“It scarcely seems possible to doubt that we are here faced with two of
Eckersberg’s earliest attempts at marine painting. Colouristically, they reveal such an immature study of nature and
then so little assurance in the image of both the ships and the sea that they must be assumed to have been painted in
his early years, before his sojourn in Paris.”
Eckersberg went to Paris in
, and as he failed to date either of
the paintings, Hannover’s suggested dating is based on stylistic criteria.
Hannover’s judgement seems unreasonably harsh. The artist’s depiction of the huge naval vessel,
which, in full sail, is crossing a choppy sea at a good speed, is no beginner’s work. There is a
ne atmosphere
to the painting, the colouring of which is discreet and well balanced, and the artist’s portrayal of the sea and
the sky seems realistic. So on the basis of stylistic criteria it would surely be natural to place it among Eck-
ersberg’s marines from the
’s, in which the weather plays a special part.
The frigate has been identi
ed as the “Najaden” (The Naiad),
which was built at Gammel Holm in
Copenhagen and launched in
. It was intended for a crew of
and was known for its seaworthiness.
It became famous after a successful action o
Tripoli in the Mediterranean in
. Like the rest of the Dan-
eet, the frigate was con
scated by the British in
, a consequence of the Napoleonic wars in which
Denmark was allied to France. Other warships were later given the name of “Najaden.” Eckersberg was on
occasion able to see the present ship for himself between
, when he came to Copenhagen, and
was thus able to both sketch and paint it before leaving for abroad.
Eckersberg’s well-known love of ships and the sea dated back to his childhood. He grew up in South-
ern Jutland, near the Als Sound, where at an early stage his father took him out
shing in his boat. In his
reminiscences, he describes with great warmth the experience of the sea, the magni
cent sunsets and the
impressions made by the big sailing ships.
His interest in maritime life was reinforced when, at the age of
, he was apprenticed as a painter in the nearby market town of Aabenraa, which at that time was a thriv-
ing port. His master, Jes Jessen (
) was not only a skilled craftsman who could ornament and mar-
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