Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 293

portraitist. It is thanks to him that we today are so familiar with the appearance of so many mem-
bers of the royal family, the aristocracy and the middle classes of the time.
Juel’s production of paintings and pastels has been reckoned to total more than
, and he
employed several assistants in his studio. His paintings are nevertheless constantly characterised by
their great variety and exuberance. In his time he was highly praised for his skill in creating a true like-
ness in his portraits. His attitude towards his models is always undemanding and is distinguished by
a sympathetic approach without any desire to achieve a more profound psychological interpretation.
This has given a later age the impression that Juel himself was unre
ective, but the latest research has
established that he was particularly interested in the Enlightenment philosophy of his time.
Even before his travels abroad, Juel had heard about J.J. Rousseau’s (
) epoch-making
thoughts on nature and his belief that children should be treated on the basis of their own abilities
and aptitudes, ideas that around
had been tested at the Danish court in the upbringing of the
crown prince Frederik. Children begin to turn up in Juel’s portraits from his time in Switzerland,
where he also had his eyes opened to the landscape. Children are later pictured behaving in a natural
manner more and more often in his art, quite often as the center of a conversation piece, the type of
group portrait so popular in the
th century. He himself had a large family with his wife Rosine. She
was twenty-
ve years his junior, and in
he produced a charming portrait of her sitting beside him
in front of the easel (Statens Museum for Kunst).
Juel painted landscapes not only as backgrounds for his portraits, but he also laid the foundation
for true landscape art in Denmark. The area around Jægerspris (
Egnen om Jægerspris
Statens Museum for Kunst, has recently been interpreted as expressing the spiritual aims of the order
of Freemasons. Juel was himself a Mason, which in an absolutist society was not entirely without its
problems in the period after the French Revolution. Perhaps this is the reason why Rosine burned all
his letters and papers after his death.
Jens Juel was in any case not particularly communicative, either in letters or in his teaching. This
was a complaint of his students, including his two most famous ones, Casper David Friedrich
), who attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
, and Philipp Otto Runge
), who studied there
. Juel expressed himself elegantly and straightforwardly
through his art, which became “the foundation for the
owering of Danish-Norwegian art that
occurred in the
th century with artists including C.W. Eckersberg and I.C. Dahl.
         :
Ellen Poulsen,
Jens Juels tegninger,
Den Kongelige Kobberstiksamling,
; Kasper Monrad, Jens Juel in:
Danish Painting, The
Golden Age,
National Gallery, London,
, pp.
; Barbara Scott, The Danish Reynolds, Jens Juel (
) in:
, June
; Ellen Poulsen,
Jens Juel, Katalog,
I–II, Copenhagen
(partly translated into English); Charlotte Christensen (ed.),
Hvis engle kunne
Det nationalhistoriske Museum på Frederiksborg Slot
(containing texts by Charlotte Christensen, Hanne Lopdrup, Erik Westen-
gaard, Jens Heinet Knudsen); Torben Holck Colding in:
, Copenhagen
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