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The Garden Steps Leading to the Artist's Studio on Blegdammen

Christen KøbkeAbout 1845

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst
Copenhagen, Denmark

The motif shows a part of Købke’s parents’ farm, where Købke had his own self-contained flat. The point of view adopted here only offers a limited impression of the house, making the sunlit, sprawling tree the main motif of the painting.

After the death of Købke’s father in 1843 Købke stayed at Blegdammen for two years until his mother had to sell the property in 1845. In all likelihood it was around this time that Købke began painting the farmhouse itself. Presumably to have something by which to remember a house that had been his home for twelve years he selected a number of motifs that were closely linked to his everyday life; all of these belong to the part of the house in which he had his own self-contained quarters. One of the scenes painted was this image of the garden steps leading up to his studio. The point of view adopted and the cropping of the motif are both strikingly off-kilter. The gables and stairs are cut off by the edge of the image, and the façade towards the road is heavily foreshortened. The depiction is entirely unrepresentative and offers only a limited impression of what the house looked like; a somewhat confusing choice in light of what we presume Købke’s intentions to have been. It may seem as if the sunlight determined the angle chosen. The gables are in the shade whereas the façade is strongly lit, and rays of sunlight fall upon the garden door and on the lush tree. This gives the sunlight an astonishing intensity.

The roof tiles in the left hand side of the painting have not been painted completely in. Perhaps the artist did not have time to finish the painting before moving, which makes 1845 a likely dating. As a companion piece for this painting he also did a canvas of a corner of the house (as viewed from the garden); both paintings have a dark green painted frame, which tells us that they have been hung without frames.

According to a note, now lost, on the back of the painting it was the property of the artist’s sister, Juliane Købke, as far back as 1847.

Details

  • Title: The Garden Steps Leading to the Artist's Studio on Blegdammen
  • Creator: Christen Købke
  • Creator Lifespan: 1810 København - 1848 København
  • Creator Nationality: Danish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: København
  • Creator Birth Place: København
  • Date Created: About 1845
  • Værktekst: Motivet stammer fra Købkes forældres gård, hvor Købke havde sin egen lejlighed. Den valgte synsvinkel giver kun et begrænset indtryk af huset, men sollyset en utrolig intensitet. Efter Købkes faders død i 1843 blev han boende på Blegdammen i to år, indtil moderen i 1845 blev nødt til at sælge deres ejendom. Det var formodentlig først omkring denne tid, Købke gav sig til at male billeder fra selve gården. Velsagtens for at bevare et minde fra sit hjem. Gennem tolv år udvalgte han nogle motiver, der havde haft tilknytning til hans hverdag, og som vel at mærke alle er hentet fra den del af huset, hvor han havde sin egen særskilte lejlighed.Et af disse motiver var havetrappen, der førte op til hans malestue. Synsvinklen og motivets afskæring er påfaldende "skæv". Gavlen og trappen er skåret over af billedets kant, og facaden ud mod vejen er set i meget stærk forkortning. Skildringen er helt urepræsentativ og giver kun et begrænset indtryk af huset. Det kan undre i betragtning af Købkes formodede hensigt med billedet. Det kan synes, som om det var sollyset, der har bestemt synsvinklen. Gavlen er i skygge, mens facaden er stærkt belyst, ligesom der falder solstrejf på havedøren og på det frodige træ. Sollyset får herved en utrolig intensitet. Tagstenene er ikke malet færdig i den venstre side af billedet. Måske nåede maleren ikke at fuldføre maleriet, inden han flyttede, og det sandsynliggør en datering omkring 1845. Som pendant til billedet udførte han et maleri af et hjørne af huset (set fra haven fra Statens Museum for Kunst); begge billeder har fået en mørkegrøn malet indramning, hvilket viser, at de har været ophængt uindrammede. Ifølge en nu forsvunden seddel bag på billedet tilhørte det allerede i 1847 søsteren Juliane Købke.
  • Teknik: Olie på papir, klæbet på lærred
  • Proveniens: Køb med tilskud fra Dansk Kunstmuseumsforening 1969
  • Provenance: Acquired 1969
  • Physical Dimensions: w33 x h22.5 cm (Without frame)
  • Featured Place: Østerbro
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=2671
  • Dansk Titel: Havetrappen ved kunstnerens malestue på Blegdammen
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Oil on paper laid down on canvas

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