1843-1917 | Danish
View from a Veranda in the South of France
Signed and dated "ZH/1908" (lower right)
Oil on canvas
This quiet and introspective terrace scene was composed by Danish modernist painter Kristian Zahrtmann, and it is imbued with an emotional resonance that set the artist apart from his contemporaries. The canvas is populated by three men, each lost in thought. The artist's treatment of the trio is captivating, with the three subjects isolated and separated physically, united only by a bold use of contrasting color and the shadows cast by the setting sun.
This work highlights Zahrtmann's career-long interest in building compositions around vibrant, contrasting hues. A brilliant colorist, the artist is able to explore the expressive possibilities of color here by juxtaposing highly saturated blues, greens, purples and reds across the entire canvas. As a whole, this painting is a remarkable example of Zahrtmann's singular style, and in many ways, the artist's intense, modern use of color and textured brushwork foreshadows the Expressionist movement of the early 20th century.
Kristian Zahrtmann was born in Rønne on the Danish island of Bornhom. He began his painting instruction at Sorø Academy, where he studied landscape and genre painting before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen, graduating in 1868. During his time there, he began to reject the conventional curriculum of the Academy and the tradition of the Dutch Golden Age of painting, and aligned himself with a group of young artists that celebrated a new modern era of Danish art, including Peder Severin Krøyer, Theodor Esbern Philipsen and Laurits Tuxen. This particular painting was exhibited at Den Frie Udstilling, an exhibition and Danish artist's association modeled after the French Salon des Refusés that rejected traditional artistic standards and cultural authorities.
Zahrtmann is known for working in a variety of subjects, including history, genre, portrait and landscape painting, including sparsely populated urban landscapes like the present composition. Today, his works can be found in the National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).
Canvas: 27 3/8” high x 32 1/4” wide
Frame: 36 1/4" high x 41 1/2" wide
H. Chr. Christensen, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of Kristian Zahrtmann, no. 623
S. Danneskjold-Samsøe, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of Kristian Zahrtmann, no. 1011.
Den Frie Udstilling, 1909, no. 314