At the French Windows. The Artist’s Wife

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L.A. Ring (Danish, 1854-1933)

I havedøren. Kunstnerens hustru, 1897,  Olie på lærred

L.A. Ring giftede sig i 1896, året før han maler portrættet af hustruen Sigrid Kähler (1874-1923). Han var da 42 år gammel, hun 22 år. Det er derfor nærliggende at tolke billedet, hvad flere kunsthistorikere da også har gjort, som en kærlighedserklæring til den gravide hustru, med udsigten til foråret som symbol på kærlighedens fuldbyrdelse.

Livet og døden i maleriet
Med så megen nyfunden lykke, forventning og blomstrende vækster samlet på et sted er det, som om bevidstheden om livets modsætning, døden, bliver det underliggende tema eller måske snarere den livserfaring, som Ring med sit billede prøver at håndtere og bortmale.

En erfaring, som ateisten Ring billedliggjorde i mange værker, og som han her skildrer ved at lade Sigrids mave blive konfronteret med en nærmest forkrøblet stamme- og grenstruktur. En påmindelse om den skrøbelighed, der også omfatter det spirende liv, som fornemmes i menneske og natur.

Kunstens kvindeopfattelse
Maleriet føjer sig til en lang række af danske kunstneres monumentale kvinde- og hustruportrætter fra tiårene omkring 1900. Billeder, som på nuanceret vis fortæller om en kvindeopfattelse, der gradvist er ved at frigøre sig fra romantikkens krops- og intellektforskrækkede moderdyrkelse mod en mere selvstændig og i sig selv hvilende kvindetype med både krop og hoved.


At the French Windows. The Artist's Wife, 1897, Oil on canvas

L.A. Ring was married in 1896, the year before he painted this portrait of his wife, Sigrid Kähler (1874-1923). At that time he was 42, while she was 22. Thus, it seems natural to join several other art historians in interpreting this image as a declaration of love for the artist’s pregnant wife, with the promise of spring acting as a symbol of the consummation of love.

Life and death in the painting
With so much new-found happiness, hope, and flowering plants gathered in one place it seems as though the awareness of the opposite of life, death, becomes the underlying theme or perhaps the experience that Ring attempts to handle or exorcise with his painting.

An experience that Ring, an atheist, expressed in many works. Here, he addresses the theme by contrasting Sigrid’s belly against stunted, gnarly branches. A reminder of the fragility that also encompasses the budding life sensed in both man and nature.

The perception of women
This painting joins the ranks of many other monumental portraits of women and wives created by Danish artists in the decades around 1900. Pictures that speak of a perception of women that is gradually liberating itself from the Romantic era’s celebration of the Mother - a view of women that recoiled from both the female body and intellect - towards a more independent, quietly confident and composed type of woman that unites both body and brains.

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.