The Danish Golden Age 1800-50
Christen Købke was one of the most gifted artists of the Danish Golden Age, but he lived a modest life and was not a central figure on the art scene of the time. He is unsurpassed in terms of observation, brushwork, and sense of colour and composition, and he took a more intuitive approach to his work than his teacher Eckersberg. This was already expressed in his early, small-scale paintings from the Kastellet (“Citadel”), then located outside of Copenhagen.
Around 1835 Købke began painting larger and more monumental scenes depicting Frederiksborg Castle and the rural settings around the Sortedam Lake, often while conveying a distinctly Romantic atmosphere. During his travels to Italy in 1838-40, his style of painting when creating small oil studies became more free and sketch-like, and this change is evident in many of the studies from Blegdammen and Sortedam Lake after his return.