Olive Trees at Olevano with Mountains in the Background

Peter Christian Skovgaard1869

The Nivaagaard Collection

The Nivaagaard Collection

This study was painted during Skovgaard’s second trip to Italy, which he carried out with a fellow artist, Wilhelm Marstrand. Both had lost their spouses the previous year and one of the purposes of the trip was to recover, both mentally and physically. Skovgaard painted all day long outside in nature in front of his subjects. He moved from place to place with help from a local boy who carried his painting equipment. On a warm June day, Skovgaard sought refuge in the cool forest areas near Olevano, where this sketch was done. The area was a favoured destination for many Danish Golden Age painters at the time, particularly during the summer, when the heat and risk of disease in Rome became too great.

About the artist:
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.

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  • Title: Olive Trees at Olevano with Mountains in the Background
  • Creator: Peter Christian Skovgaard
  • Date Created: 1869
  • Physical Dimensions: 36 x 59 cm
  • Provenance: Acquired before 1908
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: The Nivaagaard Collection: http://www.nivaagaard.dk/en/public-domain/
  • External Link: The Nivaagaard Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas