P. C. Skovgaard
Olive Trees near Olevano, 1869
Oil on canvas, 36 x 59 cm.
Inventory number: 0152NMK
Acquired in 1876. Bestowed to the museum in 1908


This study was painted during Skovgaard’s second trip to Italy, which he carried out with a fellow artist, Wilhelm Marstrand. Both had lost their spouses the previous year and one of the purposes of the trip was to recover, both mentally and physically. Skovgaard painted all day long outside in nature in front of his subjects. He moved from place to place with help from a local boy who carried his painting equipment. On a warm June day, Skovgaard sought refuge in the cool forest areas near Olevano, where this sketch was done. The area was a favoured destination for many Danish Golden Age painters at the time, particularly during the summer, when the heat and risk of disease in Rome became too great.


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.

Translator: Jennifer Russell

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