Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 147

PAUL (POUL GUSTAV) FISCHER
   ‒       
Paul Fischer was one of a group of painters who, from the

’s, started to portray modern life as seen
in both town and country. Among the Nordic painters his work especially resembled were P.S. Krøyer, the
Finnish Albert Edelfelt (


) and the Swedish Hugo Birger (


) in addition to the Hen-
ningsen brothers. He learned the painter’s craft from his father, who was both an artist and craftsman
painter, and he trained for a brief period in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In

he experi-
enced success with some illustrations for one of the cultural periodicals of the time, and in

he made
his
fi
rst appearance at Charlottenborg. Among his early major works are
Østergade, juletravlhed på
Strøget (Østergade, Christmas Shopping in Strøget),

,
I Det Kongelige Teater (In the Royal
Theatre)
, showing familiar Copenhagen
fi
gures in the auditorium, and
Mågerne fodres på Dron-
ning Louises Bro (Feeding Gulls from the Queen Louise Bridge)
.
Paul Fischer became famous as the result of a number of scenes of Copenhagen, which formed the
basis of his public success. Although he was admired and used as an illustrator, revealing an original cre-
ative talent as a poster artist, he was not in his day reckoned among the true naturalist artists of the
Modern Breakthrough. His paintings were not bought by the art museums, which preferred the very sim-
ilar portrayals of Copenhagen by Erik (


) and Frants Henningsen (


). Nevertheless, Fis-
cher’s work achieved high prices in his day. Interest declined after his death, but in the mid-

’s, the
public again became aware of his work, not only in Denmark, but also abroad.
Paul Fischer took most of his motifs from the heart of Copenhagen. His pictures of the city are usu-
ally populated with a large number of
fi
gures, including people buying from the tradespeople in the
street, the ladies often being portraits done to order. After

, Fischer painted a fair number of pictures
of bathers on the north coast of Zealand, which seen in the moral light of the time must be said to be
rather daring. Fischer learned photography and left some
,

photos (Copenhagen City Museum),
which to a considerable extent provided the direct foundation for the street scenes and
fi
gures in his pic-
tures. Using photographs in this way was a method that in Denmark was considered too easy a short
cut to achieving a result, so artists did not discuss the matter in public.
Most of Paul Fischer’s extensive oeuvre is in private collections. Of his work in public collections,
mention should be made of
I Glyptoteket på Ny Carlsberg,

(
In The Glyptotek at Ny Carls-
berg
), painted at about the same time as P.S. Krøyer’s interior from the same place (now in the Carls-
berg Museum, Copenhagen). In addition, Fischer’s painting from

of
Christian IX Announcing to
the Deputation from the Norwegian Storting His Agreement to Prince Carl Assuming the
Norwegian Throne,
is not much inferior to Laurits Tuxen’s work in its solution to a large and com-
plicated undertaking. It is now in the Royal Palace in Oslo. A smaller replica was commissioned for the
Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød. Copenhagen City Museum has
acquired a number of works by Paul Fischer over recent years.
E.F.
:
Helge Carlsen, Erik Mortensen,
Billedmageren Paul Fischer
, Copenhagen

; Erik Mortensen in:
Weilbach
, Vol.
, Copenhagen

.
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