P. C. Skovgaard
Italian Landscape, 1854
Oil on canvas, 30 x 37 cm.
Inventory number: 0145NMK
Acquired in 1876. Bestowed to the museum in 1908
In 1854-55, Skovgaard undertook his first longer Grand Tour to Italy. He was newlywed and his wife Georgia accompanied him. It was a trip they had looked forward to with longing. Both harboured great expectations for the encounter with intimate village communities, vast landscapes, cultural attractions and, not least, the grand Italian painting tradition. The trip went from Milan and Venice in the north to Rome and Naples in the south. This painting of a country road in the wooded Sabine hills northeast of Rome indicates how widely Skovgaard travelled in order to study Italy’s landscapes, also to more remote and inaccessible regions. Here, he carried out numerous sketches and would often paint in front of the subject.
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.