C. W. Eckersberg
Seascape with the island of Hjelm and the coast of Jutland, 1827-45
Oil on canvas, 43 x 62 cm.
Inventory number: 0078NMK
Acquired before 1895. Bestowed to the museum in 1908


A sailing ship has sailed out into the Kattegat. The windy weather fills its sails while the rocking waves crash against the ship’s hull. The island of Hjelm and the coast of Jutland can be made out on the horizon. C.W. Eckersberg developed an interest in marine painting early on in his career. Already as a young artist, he completed a number of drawings of ships for commercial use, including etchings which were printed by the copperplate engraver Niels Truslew in 1805. These etchings allowed him to study ships at sea from different angles. The subject was therefore not a foreign one to Eckersberg when he later began work on larger marine paintings. In this work, he takes great care to capture the dynamic tension playing out between the waves and ship on a windy day in the Kattegat.


Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853)
Eckersberg studied under Nicolai Abildgaard and art historically, he has been proclaimed the Father of Danish Painting, because he was the first professor to establish a school and his students include many of the most famous Golden Age painters. He broke with the idealising art of the 1700s and introduced a new form of realism based on nature studies and compositional principles. In 1810, he won the Academy’s prestigious gold medal, and subsequently spent a year in Paris studying under the great neo-classical painter Jacques-Louis David. Eckersberg was the very first to introduce direct study from nature at the Art Academy, and in doing so, had a decisive impact on the development of Golden Age art in Denmark. He was greatly influential for numerous young artists such as Martinus Rørbye, Christen Købke, Constantin Hansen, Jørgen Roed and Wilhelm Marstand.

Translator: The translation agency Diction – J. Niclas B. Jensen

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