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Christen Købke

Christen Købke, 1810-48, was only twelve years old when he became a pupil at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

Valdemar KoebkeC.W. Eckersberg was of the greatest importance for his artistic development, and Købke was taught by him from 1828 to 1832.

Købke, who during a short life painted the finest landscapes and portraits of the Danish Golden Age, mainly took his motifs from close to his home; until 1833 this was the fortress known as The Citadel, and then Blegdammen near the Sortedam Lake in Copenhagen.

It is from here that some of his best pictures stem, a large number of well-composed and colouristically harmonious paintings, for instance View of Østerbro in the Light of Morning from 1836 (Statens Museum for Kunst), and drawings and studies.

Most of Købke's portraits were also of those close to him: family members and friends. From the mid-1830s he included Frederiksborg Castle in his narrow range of motifs and experimented with larger formats.

Købke was here under the influence of the national romantic tendencies of the time, not least resulting from personal contacts with the "ideologue" of the movement, the art historian N.L. Høyen, and with the painter J. Th. Lundbye.

In keeping with this influence, impulses from the German national romantic painter C.D. Friedrich are discernible in some of Købke's works.


Vibeke Skov, Gyldendal Leksikon

other great danes

The lives and achievements of all these Great Danes and many more are outlined in biographies of varying lengths on these pages. Read more about The Great Danes