Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 249

and her sister Augusta (one of whose paintings is represented in the Loeb collection.) He counted a
large number of women among his pupils.
In


, he was in the south of France and Italy. He sold to, and exhibited with, the painter
and art collector François-Xavier Fabre (


) at Montpellier.
In Rome he formed part of the Danish colony of artists centered around Bertel Thorvaldsen
(


), who lent him some of his antique vases so that he could paint them, and who also bought
from him. Hans Christian Andersen (


) tells in his diary for

how, while out walking, he
plucked purple anemones for Jensen, who incorporated them into a painting.
With the pink cabbage rose as his focal point, Jensen created his virtuoso compositions in which
he juggled
fl
owers rather like modules
fi
tted together. The result is paintings of a uniquely decorative
power. Through his treatment of light (in which he selected
fl
owers to illuminate especially, but with
the entire bouquet standing out against a dark background), he establishes a link with Dutch
fl
ower
painting from the

th century. The light is not the
fl
eeting light of nature, but an idealised light.
Strawberries, beech leaves, elder and corn
fl
owers lend a National Romantic tone to some of the works.
Even when he worked with the classical international repertoire, his paintings have the same unmis-
takable quality of a slightly naive sweetness such as one found in Auguste Bournonville’s (


)
ballets.
Jensen’s oeuvre consists of several types of motif:
fl
owers in clear drinking glasses,
fl
owers in sim-
ple earthenware pots,
fl
owers laid out on a table. Each type allows a large amount of space around the
bouquets. It was possibly during his later years that he introduced a new motif in which he painted
the
fl
owers seen from close quarters without a vase or table, as in classical
fl
ower painting. Unfortu-
nately, there is still only scant research on this important Danish Golden Age painter. There are no
drawn preparatory works from his hand in Danish collections. Perhaps he simply did not draw, but
knew his
fl
owers so well that he could freely combine them on the canvas.
At the age of
fi
fty, Jensen’s sight began to fail. With great e
ff
ort he executed an extensive decora-
tion of garlands of
fl
owers for the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen as part of Gottlieb Bindesbøll’s
restoration. He travelled south to see the World Fair in Paris in

, in which he took part and was
awarded a prize. After this he went into decline.
M.T.
         :
Bernard Nollen,
A Posy of Flowers Painted by Scandinavian Artists in the Time of Hans Christian Andersen,
Liechtenstein

;
Hanne Westergaard,
H.C. Andersens blomster,
Copenhagen

; Barbara Scott, Johan Laurentz Jensen, the Father of Danish Flower Painting in:
Apollo
, Vol. CXXVII, no.

, November

, pp.


; Ingvar Bergström,
Johan Laurentz Jensen (


); Father of Danish Flower Painting,
Hirsch & Adler Galleries Inc., New York,


; Elisabeth Fabritius in:
Weilbach,
Vol.
,
Copenhagen

; Inger Nørballe,
Romantikkens blom-
ster blomsternes sprog
, Bakkehusmuseet, Copenhagen

.
¹
Though J.L. Jensen signed his paintings “I.L.” Jensen, we have used the name J.L. Jensen throughout this catalogue, as it is listed in the biogra-
phies of the
Weilbach Dictionary of Danish Artists
.
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