Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 133

   ‒    
Self-Portrait, the Artist’s Last Work,
(Selvportræt. Kunstnerens sidste arbejde)
Oil on canvas,
in. (
Signed lower right: Exner
       :
Artist’s estate auction, Charlottenborg
, lot.
; Kunsthallen, Auction
, lot
, ill. p.
; Bruun Ras-
mussen, Auction
, lot
, ill. (described as:
Kunstneren i sit atelier
         :
Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Col-
lection of Ambassador John Loeb, Jr.,
, no.
; Bruce Museum of Art and Science, Greenwich, Connecticut and The Frances
Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, New York,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Collection of Ambassador
John L. Loeb, Jr.
, no.
, ill.; Scandinavia House, New York,
Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough,
Selections from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.
, no.
; Gargosian Gallery, New York, In the Studio,
         :
Annette Stabell in:
, p.
; Peter Nisbet,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the
Collection of Ambassador John Loeb, Jr.,
Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
, p.
, ill.;
Patricia G. Berman,
In Another Light, Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century
, New York
, p.
, ill. p.
hen Julius Exner reached the age of eighty, he painted himself in his professorial residence in the
Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, elegantly dressed in a suit and waistcoat, sitting by his easel in
a corner of his studio beneath the large skylight.
My Studio, the Artist’s Self-Portrait,
the work was
exhibited at Charlottenborg in
(Fig. A), su
cient to convince everyone that the old artist was still very
capable indeed.
This picture was less tall and somewhat wider than the one with the same motif in the Loeb collection.
It provided a view of the spacious, high-ceilinged studio and immediately drew attention to a tub contain-
ing a luxuriant small
g tree, whose many light-green leaves re
ected the clear daylight entering the room.
The wall beside him contained an impressive array of his works, some on easels, some hanging side by side.
One of them is the
Portrait of Gudrun Reading,
in the Loeb collection. Receiving special attention was one
of Exner’s magni
cently framed principal works from his late years,
The Music Lesson, Interior from Fanø
which had been exhibited in Munich
ve years before.
In a dark corner in the left foreground there is a glimpse of some article of clothing, presumably the
artist’s smock, thrown across a high-backed armchair. The Eckersberg school’s demand for minutely vera-
cious reproductions of reality was still very much alive in an artist like Julius Exner; it would not allow him
to omit such an important detail as his artist’s smock, which would have been part of his attire if he had not
chosen to portray himself impeccably dressed in a suit.
Four years later, the year in which he died, Julius Exner copied the self-portrait in the smaller version
seen here, making certain alterations: the painter is now sitting with his back to the window so that the
work he is painting on the easel can bene
t from the best light. His dress is just as impeccable, and the
smock is still there, this time on a more modest chair, because Exner himself is sitting in the armchair.
The room does not extend so much to the side as in the earlier picture, and it is more di
cult to dis-
tinguish the motifs of the paintings on the wall. However, the small paintings at the top and bottom near-
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