Kristian Zahrtmann (1843-1917), The Death of Queen Sophie Amalie, 1882

Kristian Zahrtmann (1843-1917), The Death of Queen Sophie Amalie, 1882. 92,5x86,5 cm. kms1231
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Surrounded by silverware and magnificent silks, the dowager queen Sophie Amalie (1628-1685) breathes her last. A grotesque figure whose status and wealth cannot deliver her from a violent and painful death by asphyxiation.

Leonora Christine's memoirs

The painting belongs to the group of around 100 pictures, studies, and sculptures that Zahrtmann created on the basis of Leonora Christine’s (1621-1698) memoirs Jammersminde (Memory of Woe) from 1869. Her life and destiny, spanning the range from wealth and power through imprisonment and shame to rehabilitation and release, fascinated Zahrtmann for almost 50 years.

Sophie Amalie was behind Leonora Christine’s arrest and 22 years of imprisonment in Blåtårn. Zahrtmann hated her for that, and his sentiments are apperent with exceptional honesty in this depiction of her death throes.

Renewer of historical painting
As an artist, the splendour-loving Zahrtmann became the great renewer of historical painting. In addition to his personal interpretations of Leonora Christine’s life, he was particularly interested in scenes of classical mythology.

Over the years the colours became more intense and the interpretations more private, making them more bizarre in the eyes of his contemporaries. In his late figure compositions, he brought together “exceptional” human beings and obvious homoerotic fascinations in a high-tension exchange between life and work.

Close-up or another view

Here you can zoom-in on the work for a close-up view of all of the details. - Or you can gain a new understanding about the work by watching films where researchers, conservators and artists talk about the work from their viewpoint.

Zoom and see the details

More views of the work – see the films

Kristian Zahrtmann - in the researcher's view

Producer Mathilde Schytz Marvit
Senior researcher Kasper Monrad
Camera and editing Martin Pedersen

Kristian Zahrtmann- in the conservators view

Producer Mathilde Schytz Marvit
Camera and editing Martin Pedersen
Conservator Troels Filtenborg

Kristian Zahrtmann - in the artists view

Producer Mathilde Schytz Marvin
Artist Hannah Heilmann
Camera and editing Martin Pedersen

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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