Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 287

AUGUST ANDREAS JERNDORFF
    ‒   
August Jerndor
ff
’s father was a restaurateur and court painter in the grand duchy of Oldenburg in
Germany. He died there only a year after the birth of his son, after which the mother and child moved
back to Copenhagen, from where the family hailed.
Jerndor
ff
received his
fi
rst training from his uncle, the painter Just Holm (


) and then
became a pupil and assistant to the painter Christian Hetsch (


), who was the son of the Ger-
man architect and professor G.F. Hetsch (


) of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in
Copenhagen. Even while training, Jerndor
ff
attended classes in the Technical School. He quali
fi
ed
there in

and was that same year admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he
quali
fi
ed in

. Of further importance to Jerndor
ff
’s development was the fact that he was a pupil
of the landscape artist P.C. Skovgaard.
Jerndor
ff
belongs to the generation of Danish artists who were trained before the establishment of
French-in
fl
uenced naturalism, and who throughout their lives dissociated themselves from this move-
ment, in contrast to his contemporaries P.S. Krøyer and Theodor Philipsen (


), both of whom
enthusiastically endorsed the new currents from Paris.
However, Jerndor
ff
was not without an eye to the future. In

, together with the painters Lau-
rits Tuxen and Frans Schwartz (


) he helped to establish an alternative life school in
Søkvæsthuset in Christianshavn. This initiative later led to the creation of De frie Studieskoler (The
Free Study Schools).
The artist’s earliest works included biblical compositions, small, bright landscapes showing the
in
fl
uence of Skovgaard, and portraits. It was this latter genre that in time was to become August Jern-
dor
ff
’s hallmark as an artist.
In his commissioned portraits he usually presented his models in characteristic situations to
which he added details of the milieu of the persons concerned. The year after painting Theodora
Jacobsen (

), Jerndor
ff
executed a portrait—very grand in style—of the old brewer J.C. Jacobsen
in his winter garden (Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle). In

the brewer’s son
Carl had his portrait painted by Jerndor
ff
. Carl Jacobsen is pictured standing in front of his desk, on
top of which are shown a microscope, chemical containers, a plan of the brewery and various draw-
ing instruments. A door in the background opens into the hall of his art collection with dark red walls
decorated with a classical frieze. Jerndor
ff
produced a large number of such stately portraits.
Apart from a few interruptions, August Jerndor
ff
spent the period from

to

in Italy, return-
ing home via Paris. It is believed that it was impressions gained during this visit of

th-century and
Italian Renaissance portraiture that were of special importance for the artist and left their traces on
his work. In

, Jerndor
ff
was in Vienna and again in Italy; the following year he visited Munich.
During his not particularly long life as an artist, Jerndor
ff
was made the recipient of various dis-
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