P. C. Skovgaard
View from the northern coast of Zealand over Kattegat and Kullaberg, c. 1862
Oil on canvas, 32,5 x 48,5 cm.
Inventory number: 0148NMK
Acquired in 1876. Bestowed to the museum in 1908
During the summer months, Skovgaard and fellow artist Johan Thomas Lundbye enjoyed taking excursions into the nature of Zealand to do open air sketches which would be used in the composition of later works. In this sketch, the artist has depicted a peaceful summer evening on the northern coast of Zealand with a view over Kattegat and the Swedish peninsula Kullaberg. The composition is dominated by light colours and horizontal lines, which helps give the landscape a calm and harmonious appearance. The detailed reproduction of the Danish vegetation in the foreground stands in contrast to the vaguely defined Kullaberg peninsula in the background. Besides creating a certain sense of depth in the painting, it also brings to light the relationship between the near and the far. The inspiration for this form of composition stemmed in all likelihood from the artist’s teacher, J.C. Dahl, who also sought to create depth in his landscapes by painting a detailed foreground against a more vaguely rendered background.
Peter Christian Skovgaard (1817-1875)
In Denmark, Skovgaard, along with his artist colleague, J. Th. Lundbye, became one of the most significant National Romantic landscape painters of the Golden Age. For a number of years, he was a professor at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen. Among Skovgaard’s sources of inspiration were Flemish Baroque landscape painters such as Jacob Ruysdael and the French artist Claude Lorrain’s timeless Arcadian landscapes. He mastered both the smaller formats with realistic, impasto depictions of nature and bigger, monumental and detailed compositions. The artist’s favoured subject matter was the Danish beech forest, which he painted throughout his life in countless variations from regions all across the country. Skovgaard’s artistic legacy was primarily carried on through his sons, Joakim and Niels.