A View from Dosseringen near the Sortedam Lake looking towards Nørrebro

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Christen Købke (Danish, 1810 - 1848)

Udsigt fra Dosseringen ved Sortedamssøen mod Nørrebro,1838, Olie på lærred

Billedet er skabt i en tid, hvor de nationale strømninger tog et kraftigt opsving. Værket dyrker således også det stemningsfulde og romantiske, og med flaget understreges det, at det er et dansk forstadslandskab, vi betragter.

På en stille sommeraften står to unge kvinder på en bådebro og ser efter en robåd, der langsomt fjerner sig på søen. Der udspiller sig ikke noget egentligt optrin, men alligevel fortælles der en historie. Det er en historie uden ord og handling, blot et stemningsbillede, hvor temaet anslås: afsked og adskillelse. At selskabet i båden i virkeligheden ikke kunne komme særlig langt væk på den lille sø, er helt uden betydning for billedets udsagn.

Maleriet hører - trods sit forholdsvis beskedne format - til blandt Købkes store, gennemarbejdede kompositioner. Til grund for billedet ligger den lille oliestudie af den samme udsigt, foruden flere tegninger, hvor han på væsentlige punkter justerede motivet. Købke har nok støttet sig til forarbejderne, men han har strammet kompositionen og trukket alle linjer op, lige fra søbredden til flagstangen. Den ikke særlig iøjnefaldende forstadsnatur virker nu statelig og monumental. Farveholdningen har han endvidere ændret radikalt. Olieskitsens varme præg med den lette lyse blå farve i himlen og vandet og de gulgrønne nuancer i græsset og træerne er i det store billede erstattet af en køligere tone. Himlen har fået et svagt grønligt skær i den kolde blå farve, og søen en let rødviolet (hvilket tager sig ud som en optisk umulighed, men rent faktisk stadig kan iagttages ved søen, når solen går ned til højre for billedudsnittet). Den ændrede farveholdning er med til at betone, at også tidspunktet på dagen er flyttet. Studiens solskinsdag er erstattet af en mere stemningsfuld og poetisk sen eftermiddag kort før solnedgang (ved en forglemmelse kommer lyset dog stadig fra venstre, dvs. syd!). Der er kommet klart romantiske toner i billedet, og skildringen er hævet over den jævne hverdag.

En vigtig tilføjelse i billedet er flaget. Det er med til at gøre kompositionen mere markant, ligesom den røde farve afvejer de kølige nuancer. Samtidig styrker flaget det stemningsfulde og romantiske i billedet og understreger, at det er et dansk forstadslandskab, vi betragter, og det knytter maleriet til de nationale strømninger, der netop på denne tid tog et kraftigt opsving.

Købke lod et beslægtet maleri fra Sortedamssøen udstille på Charlottenborg i 1838, hvor det blev vel modtaget af anmelderen ved Portefeuillen for 1839. Han viste dog ved den lejlighed, at han ikke havde haft sans for malerens tidligere arbejder: "Næsten i alle sine Arbeider har denne Kunstner udmærket sig ved samvittighedsfuld Sandhed og Simpelhed, men desværre ogsaa ved en iøinefaldende Ligegyldighed for Valget af sine Fremstilligner, hvilket Sidste vistnok er noget høist dadelværdigt, da Naturen besidder meget kjedeligt og uædelt, som ikke kan være nogen værdig Gjenstand for Kunsten. Med Glæde see vi derfor i dette Maleri et Valg, der er Kunstnerens Pensel værdig; den rolige, dæmrende Sommeraften er fortræffeligt udtrykt, Sollyset, som falder paa træerne til venstre, varmt og skuffende [dvs. illuderende]; Figurerne godt tegnede, og Aftenens dunkle Skygger synes efterhaanden at liste sig frem over Egnen. Det Hele er en yndig Idyl, ved hvilken vi gjerne dvæle."

Maleriet blev købt af Den kongelige Malerisamling (nu Statens Museum for Kunst) i 1839 - som det første af de to, der blev erhvervet i malerens levetid.


A View from Dosseringen near the Sortedam Lake Looking Towards Nørrebro, 1838, Oil on canvas

The painting was created at a time when national sentiments grew greatly in strength and scope. Indeed, the work cultivates the atmospheric and the romantic, while the flag accentuates the fact that we are looking at a Danish suburban landscape.

On a quiet summer night two young women stand on a bridge looking at a rowing boat slowly moving away on the lake. There is no defined narrative staged here, but nevertheless a story is told. It is a story without words or action; an atmospheric moment striking up a theme of departure and separation. The prosaic fact that the party could not have travelled very far away on the tiny lake has no impact on the message conveyed by the image.

Despite its relatively modest format, the painting is numbered among Købke’s large, carefully finished compositions. The painting is based on a small oil study of the same view as well as on several drawings; the artist has made several significant adjustments to the motif along the way. Købke leaned on his preliminary studies, but he tightened up the composition and all its lines, ranging from the lakeshore to the flagpole. Here, an otherwise unprepossessing suburban scene becomes stately and monumental. He also radically changed the colour scheme. The oil study had a warm feel to it with its light blue sky and water and yellowy-green grass and leaves, but in the large paintings these colours have been replaced with cooler hues. The sky has taken on a faint greenish tint to its cool blue colour, and the lake has taken on a light reddish-purple (which may seem like an optical impossibility, but the phenomenon can actually still be observed on the lake when the sun sets, which it does to the right of the section shown here). The change in colour scheme helps to highlight the fact that the time of day has been changed, too. The sunny day depicted in the study has been replaced by a more atmospheric, poetic late afternoon shortly before sunrise (although a slip-up on the artist’s part means that the light still falls from the left, i.e. from the south!). The scene has taken on a definite Romantic quality, elevating it above the everyday.

The flag is a very important addition to the painting. It makes the composition more striking, and the red of the flag balances out the cool nuances. At the same time the flag accentuates the atmospheric and romantic qualities of the painting, emphasising that we are looking at a Danish suburban scene. This links the painting to the nationalist sentiments that grew greatly in strength and scope around this time.
Købke had a similar painting from the Sortedam Lake exhibited at Charlottenborg in 1838, where it was well received by a critic at the journal Portefeuillen for 1839. However, the critic also demonstrated that he did not appreciate the artist’s previous work: "In almost all his work this artist has been remarkable for conscientious verisimilitude and simplicity, but unfortunately also for a striking carelessness in his choice of subject matter; this latter fact is certainly to be deplored insofar as Nature has in it much that is dull and ignoble and cannot be termed worthy subjects of art. It is a joy, therefore, to see in this painting a choice worthy of the artist’s brush: The serene twilight of the summer night is most excellently executed, the sunlight falling upon the trees to the left is warm and illuminating; the figures are well drawn, and it seems as if the inky shadows of night are tiptoeing their way into the scene. The entire scene is an exquisite Idyll before which we are happy to linger."

The painting was acquired by The Royal Collection of Paintings (the present-day National Gallery of Denmark) in 1839 - and was the first of the two paintings bought while the artist was still alive.

Details

The prints are individually crafted in heavy duty 280 gram Museum Quality Art Print paper.

Ordered framed the artwork is custom mount, cut perfectly to your image.
Delivered fully strung, ready for hanging.

Created from high-quality wood, milled with simple clean lines and presented with a satin finish.
This frame has a square profile measuring 20mm (front face) by 23mm (depth from wall).

Available in black or natural.