Johan Christian Clausen Dahl
"Dyrehaven" Deer Park near Copenhagen
Oil on canvas. 91.5 x 72.5 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: Dahl 1853.
The Norwegian Johann Christian Clausen Dahl studied at the famous Royal Academy in Copenhagen from 1811, as Caspar David Friedrich had done before him. In 1818 he moved to Dresden where landscape painting - led by C. D. Friedrich - had become a genre in its own right. He soon belonged to Friedrich´s close circle and became one of the leading figures of Romanticism in Dresden. At the same time, Dahl remained close to his native city of Copenhagen where he was appointed a member of the Royal Academy in 1827. He remained a famous and prolific artist until the end of his career and also sold numerous paintings to foreign countries in Europe.
This painting shows a view of "Dyrehaven", a deer park north of Copenhagen that until today surrounds the royal hunting lodge Eremitage built by King Christian VI. between 1734 and 1736. According to an entry in his diary, Dahl painted a "Landscape with Beech Tree from the Deer Park near Copenhagen" for the Countess von Gersdorf-Hardenberg from Reventlov on Laaland Island in Denmark. After the painting was forwarded to her - probably to Florence - Dahl also noted the payment in April 1854.
The whereabouts of this painting remained unknown for a long time, but its composition and size were known from a drawing by Dahl after the painting, which is dated 1853. It states the measurements of the painting as 91.4 x 71.9 cm, corresponding to the size of the present painting, and it bears the additional remark "Gräfe Gersdorf in Florenz" (Bergen, Billedgalleri, inv. no. 922, LV 485). The author of the catalogue raisonné, Marie Lodrup Bang, has on the basis of a photograph identified the present work as the missing painting by Dahl and has confirmed its authenticity.