C. W. Eckersberg
The Corvette Najaden under Sail, ca. 1834
Oil on canvas, 48 x 55,5 cm.
Inventory number: 0079NMK
Acquired before 1895. Bestowed to the museum in 1908


In the 1830s and 1840s, Eckersberg was fascinated with marine painting. Despite the loss of the fleet in 1807, Denmark remained a seafaring nation. The ships’ aesthetic must have appealed to Eckersberg’s interest in perspective and at the time, he was the leading painter of marine art. In 1833, Eckersberg took a two-week trip with the corvette Najaden. In the following years, he painted the ship at least five times. The artist carried out many of this type of shorter or longer trips onboard the ships he was interested in. Along the way, he took detailed notes regarding weather conditions, the appearance of waves in various kinds of wind, about which sails the ships used, as well as about the route and manoeuvres in general.


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: Jennifer Russell

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