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Tree Study. Oil on paper, mounted on cardboard. 26.4 x 21 cm. Circa 1837.
This simple study of an old oak tree is remarkable for its timelessness and immediate visual impact. Dashed off with great nonchalance, the sketch radiates a tremendous artistic freshness and demonstrates a freedom from clichés, while the finely gradated colouration conjures up an atmosphere of the utmost intensity. The subtly differentiated autumn foliage stands out clearly against the delicate, pale blue sky. This is an early work by Lorenz Frølich, who probably observed the motif in a park in the immediate vicinity of Copenhagen.
A stylistically very similar study of a tall oak tree dated 1873 is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York (donated by Eugene V. Thaw, inv. no. 2009.40064). Frølich studied under Martinus Rørbye, Christen Købke and Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. From 1840 he lived abroad for over thirty years. The first stage of his journey took him to Dresden and Munich, where he drew inspiration from the works of Romantic artists such as Joseph von Führich, Ludwig Richter and Eduard Bendemann. After a lengthy stay in Italy (1846–51), Frølich lived and worked mostly in Paris for twenty-two years. In 1873 he returned to Denmark, where he made a name for himself primarily as a history painter.Contact us for further information