Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 242

maul stick (Fig. A). Meanwhile, the unique artistic characteristics of portrait painter C. A. Jensen are seen
just as clear through a close study of the works of Jensen in the Loeb Collection.
Here, there exist today (
) in total the following four beautiful pieces by the portrait painter C. A.
Portrait of History and Genre Painter Ferdinand Flachner
) (Fig. B) and
Portrait of Joseph Hambro
) (Fig. C) along with the here described paintings
Portrait of Flower Painter J. L. Jensen
Portrait of
Flower Painter J. L. Jensen’s Wife.
Should one compare these pieces, one can unearth interesting aspects in
Jensen’s artistic development. Furthermore, it can also be sensed which kind of human contact there must
have existed between the painter and his model, and how the presence of this contact - or lack of it - has
influenced the results of the painter:
When C. A. Jensen portrayed his friend Ferdinand Flachner, both artists were still students at the Royal
Academy of Fine Arts, and only
years old. They were inexperienced, but also full of trust to the teach-
ings they received at the Academy, as in their attitude towards each other. Jensen’s work demonstrates how
he, dutifully and seemingly unencumbered, has followed the instructions of the professor. Ferdinand Flach-
ner, who, we must assume, also were supposed to learn from this portrait session, has placed himself as
needed to “draw the eye of the beholder”. Thus, he is seen in an appointed outward facing posture (a cer-
tain out-turned and mobile physical posture) and with a lively, attentive facial expression (cf. no.
). The
young C. A. Jensen has solved his task satisfactory - perhaps especially because he has been able to work in
a trust filled collaboration with his Academy comrade. It is conceivable that the two students even shared
a feeling of secret amusement because of this portrait painting exercise’s unmistakable likeness to play-act-
ing. Is the hint of a smile not buried in the depth of the young Flachner’s dainty eyes?
Quite different is the case of the portrait of the financier, trader and banker Joseph Hambro. After
lengthy study trips to Dresden and later on, Rome, where C. A. Jensen has advanced himself in portrait
painting, he has developed his very own personal painting style that, for a while, has made him the portrait
painter in highest demand in Copenhagen. This new technique can be observed in the Loeb Collection’s
portrait of Joseph Hambro, as well as in the corresponding portraits of flower painter J. L. Jensen and his
wife: Occasional quick, sensitive brush strokes without clear contours are placed on the canvas in repetitive,
transparent layers of paint. They catch the light and make the painting sparkle in numerous subtle nuances
of color. It is an intuitive method of painting, without preexisting speculations on the placement of the
model in the space of the painting based on fixed rules, as it was the case with the youth portrait of Ferdi-
nand Flachner. A spontaneous, almost sketch like method, that not alone breathes life into the model’s face
and entire figure, shape and substance, but also in glimpses allows to let the portraitée’s feelings and
thoughts come forward unmasked - or perhaps even to revealingly expose.
Joseph Hambro does not smile. His eyes are somber and speculative. Tired eyelids under handsomely
swung eyebrows. An intelligent forehead, curly dark hair, that is about to turn grey. An unapproachable
exterior, a certain arrogance that does not invite to confidentiality with the painter in front of him. Where
there plainly existed a humorous and trust filled atmosphere between Ferdinand Flachner and C. A. Jensen,
here the portrait painter seems to feel otherwise respectful at mind towards the prominent Joseph Hambro.
A certain stiffness in the making of the portrait shows itself, or rather a cool distance between model and
painter. Yet, Jensen has with his superior psychologically inclined talent - presumably to the great financier’s
distaste - managed to show not only the exterior appearance of Joseph Hambro, but also a speck of his inner
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