Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 77

OTTO BACHE
   ‒    
  .
Flag Day in Copenhagen on a Summer Day, in Vimmelskaftet,
after

(Der
fl
ages, sommerdag i Vimmelskaftet)
Oil on canvas,
⅔
x

in. (

x

cm)
Signed lower left: Otto Bache
       :
Arne Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

.
         :
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. p.

and cover back; Scandinavia House, New York,
Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough, Selections from
the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.
,

, no.
.
         :
Patricia G. Berman, “Lines of Solitude, Circles of Alliance, Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century” in:
Dan-
ish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
, Bruce Museum

, p.

; Patricia G.
Berman,
In Another Light, Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century
, New York

, p.

, ill. p.

.
T
he luminescent, almost impressionistic style of this work might be due to his recollection of the World
Exhibition in Paris in

, when Otto Bache was among the Danish participants. It is possible that on
that occasion Bache saw Monet’s
La rue Montorgueil, Fête au

. juin

,
a lively, scintillating picture of fes-
tive crowds in a Parisian street decorated with
fl
ags.
¹
Bache is considered the
fi
rst Danish painter to be attracted by the new French art, to which he had his
eyes opened in Paris as early as

. According to the landscapist Godfred Christensen (


), Otto
Bache was the
fi
rst artist to create “a stir among the young” in Copenhagen by talking about the radical
ways of painting in France. But he was not able to enrich his own art by means of this painting technique,
which allowed the brush to work freely and gently without creating sharp outlines, and which prioritised
brilliant light and a vibrant fullness of colour in preference to veracity and wealth of detail. He was too tied
to the still pertinent national programme of N.L. Høyen and too inhibited by the general fear of “being
splashed with alien varnish.”
²
The title of Bache’s painting is misleading, as the motif is not one of Vimmelskaftet itself, but of
Amagertorv looking down past the tall trees in front of one of the oldest churches in Copenhagen, Hel-
ligåndskirken—the Church of the Holy Spirit—to Vimmelskaftet in the distance. Both Amagertorv and
Vimmelskaftet are part of the medieval
“Strøget,”
a nickname for the long, narrow sequence of streets link-
ing the two most important squares in the capital city, Kongens Nytorv and Rådhuspladsen in the center of
Copenhagen.
Copenhagen City Museum
(Københavns Bymuseum)
has provided the information that the
fl
ags were
fl
ying to mark the golden wedding anniversary of King Christian IX and Queen Louise on May

,

. A
photograph presumably taken in the morning of that day is of an identical motif, except that it was taken
at street level and the scene is devoid of people. The approximate dating is derived from this.
³
Christian IX,
the
fi
rst Danish king belonging to the house of Glücksborg, was born in

and reigned from

to

.
He was blamed for the

defeat in the war with Prussia and Austria, although he had in fact tried to pre-
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