C. W. Eckersberg (b. Blåkrog near Aabenraa 1783, d. Copenhagen 1853)

“Den 1. maj 1832. Prins Frederik går ombord på fregatten Havfruen for at gøre en sejltur”. 1 May 1832. Prince Frederik goes on board the frigate Havfruen (the Mermaid) to make a sailing trip. Study. 1832. Unsigned. Oil on canvas laid on canvas. 19×26 cm.

The painting is a study for Hannover no. 463 “On 1 May 1832. Prince Frederik goes on board the frigate Havfruen (the Mermaid) to make a sailing trip” (Nasjonalmuseet Oslo, inv. no. NG.M.04265).

In his diary on 1 May 1832, Eckersberg describes the experience that inspired this motif (in Danish): “Tuesday. It had been decided that the frigates [The Nymph and The Mermaid] should set sail this morning. The young Prince also went aboard accompanied by his father this morning at 7:30 am. Because of this occasion, the steamship Dania made a trip to Elsinore, but it rained and there was a strong gale blowing from North by North-East. The frigates had to stay until the afternoon, but when the wind had changed to the South they departed at 7 o'clock with the help of their sails. Captain Sletting also sailed along. The trip to Elsinore was quite pleasant – except for the rain.”

Later he writes on 28 May 1832: “Monday. Started work on a new painting of a seascape depicting the first of May. And again on 17 August 1832: ”Friday. Had the early summer painting from 1 May in front of me again and changed something in the composition.”

Provenance: Presumably the estate auction of the late C. W. Eckersberg 1854 no. 113 (Two Frigates salute a Steamship. Sketch). Here acquired by court gilder P. C. Damborg. J. Borregaard. Winkel & Magnussen auction 306, 1944 no. 67, reproduced p. 19. Winkel & Magnussen auction 310, 1944 no. 87, reproduced p. 13. Winkel & Magnussen auction 316, 1944 no. 155, reproduced p. 69. Kunsthallen auction 307, 1974 no. 54. Artcurial, Paris, auction April 2019 no. 14, reproduced p. 17 and on the cover of the catalogue.


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