Portrait of an artist. Signed with monogram and dated 59. Oil on cardboard. 24.5×21 cm.
Exhibited: Foreningen for National Kunst, “Vilh. Kyhn 1819–1903 Hundredaarsudstilling”, 1919, no. 106. Here as a portrait of Kyhn's brother 'Portræt af Kyhns Broder', Ludvig Johan Kyhn.
Kusthalle Kiel, 'Die Kopenhagener Schule - Meisterwerke Dänischer und Deutscher Malerei von 1770 bis 1850', 2005, reproduced p. 148 and mentioned p. 250.
Randers Museum, Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Ribe Kunstmuseum, Heart Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, 'Vilhelm Kyhn & det danske landskabmaleri', 2012–14, not in catalogue.
Literature: Regina Schubert, “Vilhelm Kyhn”, i 'Die Kopenhagener Schule - Meisterwerke Dänischer und Deutscher Malerei von 1770 bis 1850', exhibition catalogue, 2005, reproduced p. 148 and mentioned p. 250.
Provenance: Baker Henrik Svanberg, Copenhagen (1919). Bruun Rasmussen auction 688, 2000 no. 1414 reproduced p. 85.
At an early stage Kyhn was appreciated for his many depictions of the Danish landscape. Several of his works were bought by the National Gallery of Denmark in his own lifetime, and by fellow artists and private collectors. He was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1836 and trained mainly under J. L. Lund, but he was also privately taught by C. W. Eckersberg.
Eckersberg’s influence is clearly visible in this knee-length portrait.
Portraits played a very small part in Kyhn’s oeuvre. Only two self-portraits dating from 1838 and 1844 are known. The present portrait thus represents an important addition. The sitter, previously believed to be the artist’s brother Ludvig Johan Kyhn, is depicted with a straw hat and the - for the artist - typical work suit of the period. This suggests he may have been a painter, perhaps Kyhn’s pupil, the painter Ernst Christian Laub (1839–1867). Another portrait of Ernst Laub by Kyhn, also dated 59, was sold at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in 2019.
Regina Schubert writes in the above mentioned exhibition catalogue: “Porträts scheint Kyhn überhaupt nur im engsten Familien- und Freundskreis angefertigt zu habem, so etwa das kleine Ölgemälde seines Bruders, ein Kniestück, das den jungen Mann in klassizistischer Pose auf einem Stuhl sitzend zeigt. Hier wird der Einfluss von Eckersbergs Porträtstil greifbar.” (p. 250).