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Frederik Christian Lund

(1826–1901, Copenhagen)

View of a Venetian Calle. Oil on canvas, pasted on an additional canvas.     30.5 x 38.5 cm. Signed, inscribed and dated “FCLund Venezia 1870” in the right-hand margin.

The painter, Frederik Christian Lund, began his studies at the Academy in Copenhagen in 1845, working at the same time as a scene painter at the Thorvaldsen Museum, where he was involved primarily in completing the frieze designed by Jørgen Sonne. He felt a close bond with his native country and was extremely successful, in particular, with his paintings of Danish landscapes. Later on he also painted portraits and genre scenes. In the course of his career Lund travelled several times to Italy. A travel stipend from the Academy enabled him to undertake his first trip between 1862 and 1864, during which he collaborated with Carl Bloch in Rome and established himself as a history painter. His second journey to Rome took place in the winter of 1874/75.

The present study of a covered passageway in the Venetian district of Cannaregio dates to 1870 and was probably inspired by his first stay. There is very little to remind the viewer of the customary hustle and bustle in Venice; only a half-open front door indicates that people live here. Lund probably painted his impression during the intense midday heat when the inhabitants of the city have sought relief from the burning sun in their houses. The charming perspective guides the viewer’s gaze along the partly plastered walls through the shady passageway out into the light-drenched opening on the other side. Lund’s study is distinguished by its delicate colouring. The palette is limited to just a few grey, brown and reddish-brown hues; occasional yellowish bricks provide a subtle colour contrast. The entire scene radiates an intimacy reminiscent of the 17th century Dutch masters.

Exhibition: Le siècle d’or de la peinture danoise. Une collection française, Roubaix, La Piscine, 12 October 2013 – 12 January 2014, Le Havre, MuMa, 8 February – 12 May 2014, Paris, 2013, p. 168, no. 148, fig. p. 212.

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