Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 240

    ‒    
 .
Portrait of the flower painter J. L. Jensen
(Portræt af blomstermaler J. L. Jensen)
Oil on canvas,
¾ in. (
Signed and dated by the left shoulder: C.A. Jensen
       :
Royal Chamber Singer Emilie Ulrich, Copenhagen; Bruun Rasmussen, Auction
, lot
, ill.
         :
Holmegaards Glasgalleri,
Udstilling af danske blomstermalere på H. C. Andersens tid
         :
Sigurd Schultz,
C. A. Jensen
, I-II, Copenhagen
, no.
, Vol. I, pp.
, ill. p.
t can be confusing that there among the Danish painters of the Golden Age were two with the surname
of Jensen, flower painter Johan Laurentz Jensen, referred to as J. L. Jensen or I. L. Jensen, that is here por-
trayed, and Christian Albrecht Jensen, who is the master behind the two exquisite portraits of the flower
painter and his wife. They are both represented in the Loeb Collection with other paintings.
Flower painter J. L. Jensen is elegantly clad in a black, open coat, black vest and a shining, white cravat.
His thick, dark, curly hair is carefully brushed away from the forehead in a wavy, artist’s coiffure after the
fashion of the time. The portraitée is clearly content with himself. His facial expression attests pleasant
thoughts of success. In spite of his just
years, he is already very much present in the art world of Copen-
hagen. Two years before, he was appointed painter in chief at the Royal Porcelain Factory of Copenhagen,
and, at about the same time, unanimously elected as a member of The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Jensen’s flower pieces are in great demand. One vibrant, decorative painting after another is born is his
studio and finds a patron. - A beautiful selection of his works can be seen in the Loeb Collection.
The year is
, and J. L. Jensen is coming out with full two prestigious commissions, both on the occa-
sion of the upcoming nuptials of the young Crown Prince couple. Here, it concerns Prince Frederik (later
Frederik VII) and Princess Vilhelmine (daughter of the ruling King Frederik VI). In the dining room of the
couple’s future residence - now called the Palace of Frederik VIII - in the noble Copenhagen based Amalien-
borg complex, the flower painter is in the process of crafting a magnificent wall decoration.
And in the
same year, the king commissions a dessert china set with fruits and flowers from him for the young bride’s
The two paintings of the Loeb Collection that respectively represents the elegant flower painter and his
handsome wife in an immaculate silk gown is carried out by the portrait painter C. A. Jensen as corre-
sponding paintings and demonstrates his artistic mastery. Seven years later, in
, the professional reputa-
tion of the portrait painter begins to decline, mainly due to the malicious criticism from the art historian,
Professor N. L. Høyen, of C. A. Jensen, that he appointed “dauber” (cf. biography). This in spite of the fact
that the portrait painter as no one else with scintillating, vivacious portrayals of his fellow human beings
understood to depict not only the visage of his models, but often also their inner being.
The biographer of C. A. Jensen, Sigurd Schultz, describes the latter phenomenon by comparing the
Loeb Collection’s vivid portrait of the young J. L. Jensen with a slightly less spirited rendering of the same
man painted six years later on, where the flower painter is seen sitting by his work with palette, brush and
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