Master Drawings, Summer 2023: Danish Drawings

Delve into the first-ever issue of Master Drawings devoted to Danish drawings (Vol. 61, no. 2)! Its publication coincides with a celebratory year of the nation’s artistic endeavors, most notably the exhibition Beyond the Light: Identity and Place in Nineteenth-century Danish Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

This issue kicks off with an article on one of the best-known artists of the Danish Golden Age, C. W. Eckersberg, focusing on the preparatory studies for his perspective treatise. Other essays range from the theoretical framework for drawing within the country as seen in Christen Købke’s oeuvre to an account reconstructing one of Thomas Lundbye’s most treasured sketchbooks, the “Long Book.” A study of three unusual drawings also by Lundbye furthers our understanding of this artist’s work.

Johan Christian Dahl is examined for his part in the nation’s art scene as well as his encouragement of Danish artists in their discovery of the wild and sublime landscapes of Norway. Views of Denmark are the subject of a study of a sketchbook at Yale by John La Farge, one of the only nineteenth-century American artists to visit the country as part of his Grand Tour. Finally, the last article discusses contemporary domestic relationships between men and women as explored in the psychologically-charged drawings of interiors by Peter Ilsted.

The issue concludes with two stimulating reviews. One looks at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibition and catalogue for Tales of the City: Drawings in the Netherlands from Bosch to Bruegel. The second reviews the three-part presentation Ways of Seeing: Three Takes on the Jack Shear Drawing Collection, at the Drawing Center, New York.

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Image: Johan Thomas Lundbye, Sunrise Over the Sea, 1838, Ribe Kunstmuseum, Ribe