Throughout his entire life, Eckersberg was preoccupied with the potential of drawing and his production of drawings was comprehensive

C.W. Eckersberg: C.W. Eckersberg: At a Window in the Artist's Studio, 1852

Throughout his entire life, Eckersberg was preoccupied with the potential of drawing and his production of drawings was comprehensive

At a Window in the Artist's Studio

  • Throughout his entire life, Eckersberg was preoccupied with the potential of drawing and his production of drawings was comprehensive. The Royal Collection of Graphic Art at SMK owns a wide selection
  • "The axis in his life was the artistic work. He never explained his art, only referred to the work itself, from which one must draw one's own conclusions. Not least from his drawings, a lot can be learnt." Quote from art historian Erik Fischer
  • The two figures in this picture are most likely C.W. Eckersberg's two daughters, Julie and Emilie or Elisabeth. Eckersberg has placed them by one of the windows facing Kgs. Nytorv in his studio at Charlottenborg

Keeping Chaos at Bay

By: Vibeke Vibolt Knudsen

The two figures in the picture are most likely Eckersberg's two daughters, Julie and Emilie, who in spite of their small statures are in fact grown-ups when they were used as models. The artist has placed them at one of the windows in his study facing Kgs. Nytorv. They are not looking out of the window, but in a book, standing by the tall windowsill, which makes them look more petite than they are.

The scene with the two women, who are "anonymous" and almost identical, is practically void of action. The real action in this picture is in the room in which the scene is set. It is graphic and clearly structured with special emphasis on light and surface. All elements are harmoniously balanced in relation to one another, the expanse of the dark curtain is connected to the partly lit shutters, which surface is repeated and then broken by the step ladder and the paint box on the stool, indeed all of the room's dense light is set against the more pale light outside.

Based on mathematics and the concept of perspective, Eckersberg has constructed an imagery where the inner regular harmony, determined by nature's reason, would keep chaos at bay.

Excerpts from SMK Highlights, SMK 2005

A Window in Paris

By: Annette Rosenvold Hvidt

Eckersberg Mor og datter - Eckersbergs værtinde i Paris (?), 1811-13, Pencil, pen, brown ink, brush, brown and grey washing, 268 x 204 mm - KKS1195, SMK

A sketch from Eckersberg's time in Paris (1811-13) where he also stages and observes a quiet scene with people in front of a window. A mother and a daughter sit together; A guess is that it's his host family in Paris. The girl holds on to the mother's arm and the mother is speaking to her.

As is also the case in many of Eckersberg's model pictures, he blends extremely well-composed spacial design with the gentle observations of people. The question of whether the pictures are void of action is tested, as little stories also seem to be part of Eckersberg's system.

The Weakening Eyes

By: Annette Rosenvold Hvidt

In Eckersberg's diary he describes how his vision deteriorates during the last years of his life. According to the art historians Erik Fischer, Kasper Monrad and Peter Michael Hornung, this fact contributes to a perceived insecurity in his later drawings: "... the drawing is stylistically very typical of Eckersberg's later works, which, due to his impaired vision, lost the precise clarity of earlier drawings. The later drawings, ..., seem more blurred, more hesitant".

Quoted from Erik Fischer, Drawings by C.W. Eckersberg, SMK 1983, p. 210.

In their book about Eckersberg, Hornung and Monrad mention the drawing At a Window in the Artist's Studio." Earlier, this drawing was dated to 1832. "But due to the insecurity or helplessness with which the two girls are portrayed, e.g. their fingers, the work is now dated later in Eckersberg's production."


  • Other Aspects of Eckersberg’s Golden Age  > What are the girls at the window doing? Read about possible interpretations of the motif
  • C.W. Eckersberg 1783-1853  > Watch a film and read about the artist Eckersberg, who made the picture <em>At a Window in the Artist's Studio<br /></em>
  • Idea and Reality  > Eckersberg was preoccupied with framing and structuring his pictures with what he considered the most favourable sections and angles of the world
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