Dankvart Dreyer (1816-52), Bridge over a Stream in Assens, Funen, 1842

Dankvart Dreyer (1816-52), Bridge over a Stream in Assens, Funen, 1842.

Dreyer belonged to the group of patriotic landscape painters from the last decades of the Danish Golden Age. Unlike many of his fellow artists and congenial spirits, he never broke through in Copenhagen and elected the life of a Funen farmer instead.

The landscape painting
Despite this pronounced life change Dreyer kept painting, especially extensive, windswept Jutland landscapes depicted as wild, unspoilt countryside. The intimate, simple scene from Assens, the artist’s birthplace, is remarkably unpretentious compared to the larger landscapes. However, the public of the time saw great potential for new experiences in the unremarkable.

Insights based on mood
New philosophical impulses, spread from Germany through Danish thinkers and writers, claimed that sympathetic insight into any artistic motif, whether in art or poetry, was a precondition for true contemplation in a wider context of life, a wider context that the spirit of the time intimated, sought for, and discussed. It was held that in principle, modest landscapes held the opportunities for communicating insights based on mood as the panoramic.

Motifs like this from Assens served as a catalyst for contemplation and insights, thereby facilitating a journey into a holistic view of life.

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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