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Posted: Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:45:01 GMT
STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired three works by the German-Danish artist Louis Gurlitt (1812–97), which between them illustrate different aspects of the artist’s diverse oeuvre. Gurlitt studied in Copenhagen and early in his career was considered a promising figure in Danish painting. By the mid-19th century, however, his name had been erased from Danish art history as a result of the border wars with Germany arising from the Schleswig-Holstein question. Now, he is once again considered a major figure of the Danish golden age, while also embodying its close connections to the German art of the period.

Louis Gurlitt was born in Altona, just west of Hamburg, which until 1864 was the second largest city under the Danish crown. After initial art studies in Hamburg, in 1832 he was accepted as a student by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where his teachers included Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. The self-portrait recently acquired at auction in Paris was painted in 1833 by the 21-year-old Gurlitt. It shows a young, self-conscious artist wearing an elegant green painter’s smock to keep spots of oil paint off the neat outfit underneath. That same year, Gurlitt received the academy’s silver medal – an outward expression of the fact that, even while still a student, he was seen as one of Danish art’s great hopes for the future. This was chiefly on account of his landscapes from the Nordsjælland countryside north of Copenhagen.

Wishing to broaden his horizons beyond Denmark, Gurlitt travelled abroad, first to Munich in 1836–37. The German artists of the time were clearly the main role models for his paintings of glorified landscapes and his subtle treatment of light effects. An example of the latter is evident in another of Nationalmuseum’s new acquisitions, a landscape from Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. The main subject is an old mill supplied with water through an apparently fragile structure. The mill race has sprung a leak at one

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