COPENHAGEN: Combining the current commercial attractions of Denmark’s so-called Golden Age painters of the early 19th century with plein air oil sketches by artists made in Italy during the same period, an intriguing group of small canvases by three, albeit relatively minor Danish Golden Age artists sketching in Italy proved to be a predictably desirable target on the second day of Bruun Rasmussen’s (25% buyer’s premium) September 3-5 sale in Copenhagen.
The tone was set by an Albert Küchler (1803-1886) sketch on canvas, 12 by 161/2in (31 x 42cm), of the Gulf of Gaeta, immediately north of Naples, seen through a stonemason’s shelter covered in vines. It was unfinished on the lower left hand side, but this only added to the sketch’s sense of spontaneity and it eventually found a trade buyer at DKr78,000 (£6770) against an estimate of DKr8000-10,000. The same price was bid for a similarly-sized Italiensk landskab, Narni, showing a sun-drenched olive grove in the Roman campagna, by Anders Lunde (1809-1886).
Küchler and Lunde are hardly household names, even in Denmark,
but Thorald Laessøe (1816-1878) who produced a number of ‘Nationalist Romantic’ paintings before concentrating on Italian views from the 1840s onwards, is a somewhat better-known figure. His 15 by 231/4in (39 x 59cm) panoramic oil sketch of Rome from the Palatine, proved the most expensive of these plein air studies, climbing to DKr140,000 (£12,150) against an estimate of DKr50,000. The buyer was described by these Copenhagen auctioneers as a collector from “Down Under” which, from a Danish perspective, apparently means France or Italy.
Exchange Rate: £1 = DKr11.5
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