Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 96

HANS ANDERSEN BRENDEKILDE
       ‒         
H. A. Brendekilde’s father was a smallholder
¹
and clog maker, and he himself was apprenticed as a
stonemason. He then attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, graduating
as a modeller in

, though he turned to painting immediately afterwards. He exhibited for the
fi
rst
time at Charlottenborg as early as

with
Fra landsbyen (From the Village)
and quickly gained
recognition; in

he was awarded his
fi
rst Academy scholarship.
Brendekilde made the leap from countryside to city at the very moment when the painters of the
Modern Breakthrough were discovering contemporary French painting: the Barbizon School and the
peasant painters J. F. Millet (


) and Jules Bastien-Lepage (


). Millet came from a
farming family, which makes his
fi
gures far more vividly alive than those produced by the traditional
genre painters of the time, for whom the farming community was only a subject for painting. During
the upheaval in the

’s, Brendekilde, like other young artists such as N.P. Mols (


) and L.A.
Ring with their roots as common folk, modelled himself on these artists, becoming an exponent of a
modern, realistic art, created on the basis of his own personal background. In this he also resembles
both Anna and Michael Ancher.
Like Ring, Brendekilde often brought out the social aspects and thus caused a stir with
Udslidt,

(Worn Out)
, in Fyns Kunstmuseum, which is so extreme in expression that it has been called
high-
fl
own. When the eighties drew to a close, Brendekilde emulated developments in the

’s by
producing a number of religious paintings in which the narratives, in the spirit of realism, are set in
the primitive surroundings of the common people. Brendekilde’s motifs were always taken from life in
the country districts. In a technical sense he was uncommonly gifted, as seen in his depictions of land-
scapes, houses and
fl
owers. At a time when his fellow artists considered genre motifs to be old-
fashioned, Brendekilde experienced great popular interest in his idyllic narrative pictures, which he
continued to paint for the rest of his long life.
Brendekilde exhibited throughout his life at Charlottenborg and took part in o
ffi
cial Danish exhi-
bitions abroad, including the world fairs in Paris in

and Chicago

and the Guildhall in Lon-
don in

. Later, The Society for National Art (Foreningen for National Kunst) in particular has
shown his works.
E.F.
         :
Herman Madsen,
Fynsk malerkunst
, Odense

; Peter Michael Hornung,
Realismen
,
Ny dansk kunsthistorie
, Vol.
, Copen-
hagen

; Erik Brodersen in:
Weilbach
, Vol.
, Copenhagen

; Mette Thelle,
H.A. Brendekilde


,
Fyns Kunstmuseum, Odense

;
Gertrud Hvidberg-Hansen,
Brendekildes billedverden
, Odense

.
¹
A smallholder was an owner of a small piece of land detached from a cottage, hired or owned by a laboring man, and cultivated to supple-
ment his main income.

]
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