Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 88

CARL BLOCH
    ‒    
.
The Artist’s Parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Bloch in
Their Sitting Room,

(Kunstnerens forældre i dagligstuen)
Oil on canvas,
½
x
¾
in. (

x

cm)
Signed lower left: Carl Bloch

Inscribed on back:
J.P. Bloch


, Henriette Bloch


       :
Dr.med. O. Bloch; Kunsthallens Auction A/S,
/
 
, lot
, ill. p.
; Manufacturer L. Thobo-Carlsen,
Odense (


), (described as:
Kunstnerens forældre
); Arne Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill. p.

; Bruun Ras-
mussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill. p.

; Bruun Rasmussen, Vejle, Auction

,

, lot

, ill. (described as:
Kunstnerens Foræl-
dre, Grosserer I. P. Bloch og Hustru i Dagligstuen
).
         :
Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen,
Arbejder af maleren Carl Bloch,

, no.
; Fyens Stiftsmuseum, (after

Fyns
Kunstmuseum), Odense, year unknown; Charlottenborg

,
Kunstakademiets jubilæum, dansk kunst gennem

år
, (no
number); 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.
,
2005
, no.
9
, ill.
         :
Rikard Magnussen,
Carl Bloch,
Copenhagen

, no.

, ill. p.

; Herman Madsen,
Kunst i Privat Eje, I-III,
Copen-
hagen


, Vol. III, p.

, ill.; Herman Madsen,

Danske Malere og deres Værker
, Copenhagen

, Vol. I, p.

, ill.; Patri-
cia G. Berman,
In Another Light, Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century
, New York

, p.

, ill. p.

.
C
arl Bloch was only twenty-one when he painted his parents in the splendid sitting room in their home,
where the mother is sitting in the window niche with her knitting, while the father, the elegant silk and
clothing merchant—with a long pipe in his left hand and his right hand hidden beneath his waistcoat—is
leaning nonchalantly against the mahogany arm of the Biedermeyer sofa.
In interpreting the pictorial relationship between the parents, writer Herman Madsen suggests that the
wife has just interrupted her knitting to give her husband a quizzical look. Perhaps he has just dropped some
sarcastic comment that has caused her to contradict him. The merchant and his wife were not happy that
their son wanted to be an artist, but surely this work, painted several years before Carl Bloch’s
fi
rst prolonged
journey abroad, convinced them of his unquestionable talent. Even at this early stage of his career, the artist
makes e
ff
ortless use of a number of diagonal perspective constructions that were subsequently character-
istic of his work. They create depth in the picture, as also do various other subtle details, such as the impres-
sion of expanded space deriving from the mirror image and the meandering patterns in the carpet.
We note Thorvaldsen’s Christ
¹
on the console of the mirror; we can dream of a sail on the lake in the
mountain landscape on the wall. With this inventiveness and delight in narrating, combined with the many
light and shadow e
ff
ects, Carl Bloch ampli
fi
es the dialogue between his parents and adds to the picture
something of the genre character required by the age. The tradition of the Eckersberg school and of the
young artist’s teacher, Wilhelm Marstrand, can clearly be seen here.
S.L.
¹
The sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (


) decorated Vor Frue Kirke, the Cathedral Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen with works includ-
ing marble statues of Christ and the twelve Apostles. The
 fi
gure of Christ was erected in the cathedral in

.

]
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