Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 235

    ‒    
  .
Portrait of History and Genre Painter Ferdinand Flachner,
(Ferdinand Wolfgang Flachner)
Oil on canvas,
in. (
       :
, no.
(described as:
En herværende Kunstners Portræt
); Konservator P. H. Rasmussen’s Auc-
, lot
; H. H. I. Lynge’s Auction,
, lot
; Winkel & Magnussen, auction
(M. Grosell),
, lot
, ill.
; Kunsthallen, Auction
, lot
, ill. p.
         :
Sigurd Schultz,
C. A. Jensen
, I–II, Copenhagen
, no.
. ill. p.
he German painter Ferdinand Wolfgang Flachner (
) was born in the town of Zirndor
in Bavaria and was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in
. In
he won both the minor and the major silver medals; three years later he won the minor gold medal. Dur-
ing the seven years he spent in Copenhagen, Flachner worked in the o
ce of a wealthy merchant, Johann
Friedrich Zinn (
). In
, after exhibiting at Charlottenborg for
ve years in a row, he gained a con-
siderable reputation, especially as a history painter, Ferdinand Flachner left Copenhagen. He settled in
Munich under his baptismal name of Flachenecker and made a living mainly as a lithographer. During his
time at the Academy in Copenhagen, Flachner established a friendship with, among others, the Norwegian-
born landscape artist Johan Christian Dahl (
), who was later to become a professor in Dresden, the
sculptor Herman Ernst Freund (
) and the portraitist C. A. Jensen. Jensen’s portrait of his friend
stems from the time spent by the two artists at the Academy. Jensen’s work here shows clear traces of the
teaching he received from the ageing Professor C.A. Lorentzen (
), who had assumed Jens Juel’s
professorship after Juel’s death in
. Though far from being as good an artist as his eminent predecessor,
Lorentzen was probably as knowledgeable and meticulous a teacher.
In his extensive monograph on C.A. Jensen, Sigurd Schultz provides a very instructive description of
th-century portrait painting as it was still taught in the Academy until Eckersberg’s neo-classical teaching
took the lead. One example used by Schultz is the Flachner portrait, which might possibly have been exe-
cuted in Lorentzen’s studio as a practice piece. We are told that a lively and attentive facial expression plus
a certain out-turned and mobile physical posture in the
gure portrayed were taught as factors necessary
for attracting the attention of the viewer. These elements are both present in this portrait of Flachner, in
which the eyes express openness while the impression of a quick turn of the head is achieved by placing the
model’s right shoulder at right angles to the front surface of the picture. A very important ingredient in
Lorentzen’s instruction in portraiture was the signi
cance of shade and colour in creating shape.
The basis of the composition was constituted by the arti
cial source of light falling obliquely from high
up on the left and dividing the oval of the face into gradually alternating areas of strong light and deep
shade. A more subdued light is shining on the background to the right of Flachner; the area behind and to
the left of him is unlit. In this way an e
ect of enclosed space is achieved, giving depth to the painting and
adding a sense of air behind the model. Through the use of chiaroscuro, further heightened by re
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