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Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg

(1783 Blåkrog – 1853 Copenhagen)

Daekket af et Orlogsskib. Etching. 23 x 30.3 cm. 1834. Heller-Andresen 3, Hannover 8.

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, the most prominent represen­tative of the Golden Age of Danish painting, produced a small printed oeuvre in addition to his paintings. From the early 1820s marine painting was an important element of his artistic work. Eckersberg’s fascination with skyscapes and seascapes and his intensive studies of the laws of linear perspective are reflected in his marine pictures.

This particular composition is a slightly modified reproduction of a painting Eckersberg did in 1833 (Korvetten “Najaden”s styrbords batteri og daek, Statens Museum, Copenhagen). Seen from a slightly raised vantage point, the etching shows the gun-deck of a warship from a very foreshortened perspective. The sailing ship lies at anchor and the sailors have gathered near the bow for a rest. The foredeck is illuminated by clear, bright sunlight. The unmanned winch used to operate the rigging gear, which dominates the foreground, indicates that the powerful ship is lying motionless. The scene consequently has a strangely distant, almost mystical atmosphere. This highly evocative depiction, which has been executed in an intricate, detailed etching style, is remarkable for its subtle rendering of textures, light and atmosphere.

A very fine, crisp trial proof with wide margins, before letters.

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