Bredsdorff, Axel (1883-1947)

Bredsdorff, Axel (1883-1947)

Danish artist Axel Bredsdorff produced predominantly landscapes and genre paintings, although he also turned his hand to portraits. In each of these works, a distinctly Danish blend of impressionism and naturalism is evident. Bredsdorff captures the unembellished drama of his homeland with impressionistic marks and dynamic colours. The praise awarded to his draughtsmanship is evident in his nudes. Predominantly female figures are captured in complex poses, kneeling on the ground or bent over to put on a shoe. His paintings come alive not just for translating reality, but through the craftsmanship of his brush, which has itself a beating heart.

Bredsdorff's sister, Maria, was also an artist, and his father, Johan Ulrik (1845-1928), worked as a drawing teacher. Praised as a naturalist painter, he clearly had an impact on his son’s artistic development. Bredsdorff would also be influenced by his travels and education in Paris, where impressionism burgeoned. As well as this, he was trained under Kristian Zhartmann (1843-1917) at The Free School in Copenhagen. The aim of this educational institute was to allow for the flourishing of modern practices in art, such as impressionism. Here Bredsdorff surely began to cultivate his distinct style. He would continue to experiment and expand on his oeuvre until his death.


Born in Birkerød.


Trained under H. Grønvold at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.


Trained under Kristian Zhartmann at The Free School, Denmark.


Travelled to Italy and then to France. Trained at the Académie Colarossi in Paris under Norwegian painter Christian Krohg.


Debuted at the Charlottenberg Exhibition


Awarded the Eckersberg Medal for his painting ‘Bathsheba.’ Travelled to Sweden and Norway.


Travelled to Paris.


Died in Randers.

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