Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 289

AUGUST JERNDORFF
  ‒  
 .
Portrait of Theodora Jacobsen,
Seated in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek,

(Portræt af Theodora Jacobsen, siddende i Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek)
Oil on canvas,

x
½
in. (

x

cm)
Signed and dated lower left with monogram: Juli

       :
Commissioned by the brewer, director, dr. phil. Carl Jacobsen; Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill.
p.

.
         :
Charlottenborg

, no.

; Paris World Exhibition

, no.

; Bruce Museum of Art and Science, Greenwich,
Connecticut and The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, New York,
Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from
the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
,

, no.

, ill.
         :
H. Chr. Christensen,
August Jerndor
ff 

, Fortegnelse over hans Arbejder,
Copenhagen

, no.

.
O
n
November

, Carl Jacobsen (


), brewer, art collector, patron of the arts and from

the holder of the honorary degree of dr. phil., opened his
fi
rst public art collection, and the following
year he published a catalogue compiled by himself, of
Glyptoteket paa Ny Carlsberg
(The Glyptotek
¹
at Ny
Carlsberg).
This predecessor of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Dantes Plads in Copenhagen (opened
fi
fteen years
later) was housed in an extension to Bakkegården, Carl and Ottilia Jacobsen’s home at that time; this was
the roughly

-year-old principal building of the Valby farm on the land where the Ny Carlsberg brewery
had been built. Following the example of his father, the founder of the Carlsberg breweries, J.C. Jacobsen
(


), Carl Jacobsen had extended the house by building a winter garden with the intention of creat-
ing a decorative interplay between plants and sculptures. However, before this conservatory was com-
pleted, art had triumphed over nature, for Carl Jacobsen acquired a number of original plaster models by
sculptors including H.W. Bissen (


), who after the death of Bertel Thorvaldsen in

was consid-
ered to be the leading Danish sculptor. As time passed, more works of art were added, among these,
antique sculptures, and room after room had to be built to create space for the collection.
Theodora, Carl and Ottilia Jacobsen’s eldest child, was eight years of age when she was placed on a stool
in the middle of her father’s
fi
rst glyptotek in front of the jewel in the collection, the Casali Sarcophagus.
The little girl with the black-stockinged legs that fail to reach the
fl
oor, is dressed in a demure dark vel-
vet dress trimmed with white lace, enhanced by a modest amethyst brooch and a gold heart hanging
around her neck. Her clasped hands correspond to a serious, somewhat dispirited face framed by shoulder-
length straight hair carefully brushed behind her ears and kept in place by a yellow ribbon.
The contrast between Carl Jacobsen’s daughter and his valuable collection of art is striking and
strangely captivating. The main
fi
gure in the painting is a living child, but it is as though the lonely little
fi
gure has withdrawn into herself, oblivious to the works of art surrounding her. Placing the girl in the fore-
ground of the painting interrupts most of the view of the late Antonine masterpiece in front of which she
is sitting, but it does not reduce the viewer’s awareness of the sumptuous decoration of the sarcophagus
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