Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 25

interest because a fragment of this picture is reflected in the mirror in Christen Købke’s famous
portrait of Sødring which hangs in the Hirschsprung Museum in Copenhagen.
Eckersberg’s great interest in classical marine painting left its traces, though we find a more
romantic slant in the work of painters such as Anton Melbye and C. F. Sørensen, both of whom
are represented here—the latter with a lively plein air study.
The painter Johan Petersen, perhaps better known in the United States than in Denmark, was
more influenced by Eckersberg’s style of painting than was the case with Melbye and Sørensen.
However, this influence came only indirectly through his own teacher, Carl Dahl, who had been
taught by Eckersberg. There is an example of this in a beautiful ship portrait of an American
frigate at anchor, presumably painted in
Two model paintings in the collection witness the teaching of Eckersberg. One by L. A. Smith
of a girl seen from behind, standing before a mirror, is painted in the presence of the master him-
self. Eckersberg’s version of the motif is one of the treasures of the Hirschsprung Museum. The
other painting of a young girl undressing, by Joel Ballin, is also the result of a session where the
teacher and several other pupils were present. At this occasion Eckersberg also painted his ver-
sion of the motif.
One of Eckersberg’s colleagues at the Academy was Professor J. L. Lund. Together with the
first real art historian in Denmark, the influential N. L. Høyen, Lund was of great importance to
a group of young landscape artists belonging to the “Golden Age of Danish Painting.” Outstand-
ing among these were P. C. Skovgaard, J. Th. Lundbye, Dankvart Dreyer and Vilhelm Kyhn.
With the exception of Dreyer, they are all well represented in the Loeb collection.
N. L. Høyen made himself the advocate and passionate spokesman for a national pictorial art.
His thoughts on Danishness in an art bereft of foreign interference finally led to his famous lec-
On the Conditions for the Development of a Scandinavian National Art
, which he delivered to the
Scandinavian Alliance in Copenhagen in
. He said that it was not only the Danish landscape
that was to be discovered, praised and painted; the life of the ordinary people was also to be por-
trayed with emphasis on their unique national character. Such was the aim of painters like Julius
Exner, Christen Dalsgaard, Carl Bloch and, to some extent, Otto Bache, all of whom appear in
the Loeb collection.
The painter Hans Smidth went his own way. So did the
-years-younger, L. A. Ring, whom art
history assigns to the generation of realists. Both executed restrained, unadorned representa-
tions of landscapes and everyday life, the former mainly in Jutland, the latter in Zealand. Espe-
cially the works by L. A. Ring are some of the best art in the collection.
National romantic portrayals of the countryside and slightly idealized genre pictures of
which there are a number in the Loeb collection, disappeared from Danish art at the end of the
century, as Høyen’s influence waned. Around
, the era dubbed the “Modern Breakthrough”
began. Characterised by a degree of realism hitherto virtually unseen, together with a free and
virtuoso use of the brush and a resplendent treatment of light and colour, these paintings are
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