European 18th-Century Art

Danish Paintings

The David Collection has a fine little group of paintings made by some of Denmark’s most important artists between c. 1750 and 1850. There are portraits by Vigilius Eriksen, who worked for a number of years at the court of Catherine the Great of Russia, and by Jens Juel, a younger artist who was exceedingly productive in Denmark. The most important figure in the first half of the 19th century – the Golden Age of Danish art – was C. W. Eckersberg, both because of his paintings and thanks to his work as a teacher. Eckersberg’s grand tour in the 1810s took him to both Paris and Rome and influenced his painting in a Neo-classical direction with a view to both style and choice of motif. For the next generation – which included painters such as Christen Købke and P. C. Skovgaard – national Danish motifs were to play a far more important role.