“Komiteen for den franske Kunstudstilling i København 1888”. The Committee for the French Art Exhibition in Copenhagen 1888. Study. Unsigned. Oil on canvas. 27×41 cm.
The work is a study for the large painting “The Committee for the French Art Exhibition in Copenhagen 1888” (144×221 cm) from 1889 at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (inv. no. MIN 0904).
H. Chr. Christensen, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of P. S. Krøyer no. 406.
Exhibited: Charlottenborg, “En Samling Malerier, Studier og Tegninger af maleren P. S. Krøyer”, 1905 no. 90.
“P. S. Krøyers mindeudstilling Charlottenborg”, 1910 no. 181.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, “Krøyer og Jacobsen 1888–1889”, 1988, reproduced fig. 10.
Provenance: The artist's estate auction 1910 no. 111 (estate stamp on the back of the canvas), here sold for DKK 1,775. V. Winkel & Magnussen (1923). Bruun Rasmussen auction 526, 1989 no. 71, reproduced p. 61. Bruun Rasmussen Vejle auction, 38, 1995 no. 689, reproduced p.111.
Krøyer submitted another study of the painting from 1888 for sale at Galerie Georges Petit in Paris in the 1880s. The art dealer had a hard time selling it. However, the painting was purchased unseen in 1890 by Heinrich Hirschsprung for The Hirschsprung Collection (inv. no. 212).
The brewer Carl Jacobsen commissioned the painting depicting the “Committee” on the occasion of the large exhibition of French art held in Copenhagen in 1888. He got the idea for the exhibition the year before, and it was to take place in connection with the Nordic Exhibition of Industry, Agriculture and Art in 1888.
The architect Vilhelm Klein was commissioned to design the exhibition building, which was placed on Halmtorvet, near the Town Hall Square of the time. The building was inspired by the Palais de Luxembourg in Paris.
Jacobsen was primarily interested in French sculptures, so he needed knowledgeable people around him from both Denmark and France who would be able to cover the art of painting.
Carl Jacobsen asked Laurits Tuxen and P. S. Krøyer to represent the Danish side together with Vilhelm Klein and Jacobsen himself. One of the most important tasks was to recruit French artists and cultural personalities to the committee. It was primarily Klein and Krøyer who sought out the French artists and worked diligently to get them to participate with selected works of art. 31 Frenchmen were selected to the committee. At Jacobsen's request, Louis Pasteur became chairman. In addition, the French committee consisted of the French Minister of Culture Antonin Proust, two well-liked art critics, the art dealer George Petit as well as a number of prominent artists, 9 painters, 7 sculptors, 3 architects and a copper engraver. The following should be emphasized:
1: The painter P.A. Besnard (1849–1934)
10: The painter Léon Bonnat (1833–1922)
14: The portrait painter Carolus Duran (1837–1917)
20: Biologist etc. Louis Pasteur (1822–1895)
21: Brewer Vagn Jacobsen (1884–1931)
22: Architect Vilhelm Klein (1835–1913)
24: The painter Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898)
29: The painter Laurits Tuxen (1853–1927)
31: The painter P.S. Krøyer (1851–1909)
The exhibition was a great success with more than 150,000 visitors.
327 paintings, watercolours and pastels, 201 sculptures, 76 architectural drawings and 55 prints were exhibited, and all of the committee members were represented with works, except Fernand Cormon (1845–1924).
Concerning the making of the painting, it is known that Krøyer went to Paris in November 1888, where he borrowed Tuxen's apartment and acquired a studio in the Palais de l'Industrie. He managed to gather a total of 30 people and clarified how the committee members should be grouped around a table. Tuxen and Krøyer themselves were placed discreetly on the far right.