Danish artist Alfred Broge depicted gloriously illuminated scenes of the Danish landscape, as well as grittier cityscapes and homely interior scenes.
Broge’s artistic endeavours began at the preparatory Technical School, where he was taught by Holger Grønvold (1850-1923). Broge would then move on to the prestigious Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he would be tutored by prominent landscape artist Rudolph Bissen (1846-1911).
It seems likely that Bissen’s grand and emotional depictions of the Danish countryside had a formative influence on Broge’s art. Broge began to produce landscapes of the areas around Holte, Tibirke, and Rørvig. These are executed with a flourish of naturalism very in tune with the trend in Danish landscape art of the time.
Vividly verdant aspects are offered with trees swaying in a light summer breeze, clouds pluming like swathes of feathers in the sky. Broge’s landscapes are very pleasant, yet have a realism of touch which does not transcend them to fantasy. The beauty of Denmark is innate, a given in his works, and executed with a light and skilful brush.
These works are often commonly complemented by old-fashioned farmhouses, which sit contentedly within their surroundings. They call back to a simpler, rustic time, something that was also popular amongst Danish audiences at the time.
Amidst the gritty and grimy changes of industrialisation occurring throughout the 19th century, Broge’s works offered a glimpse at a more idyllic, sentimental time. This idyllic feel was carried through into his interior works. Broge’s renown came mainly from these cosily captured interior scenes, which were often reprinted for sale on products such as postcards. Broge successfully captured the need for ‘hygge,’ meaning comfort and a cosy environment, desired by his audiences, once more against the brutalist backdrop of industrialisation. His works depict staid and pleasant interiors, composed with a balance across the canvas. There is often a haze of bright light climbing in through the windows, illuminating highlights of bright colour.
Broge was a very successful exhibitor during his almost 40-year career. He would often exhibit at the eminent Charlottenborg Exhibition in Copenhagen, as well as appearing at numerous independent exhibitions across Denmark.
Broge’s influence was not limited to the works he produced. He also worked for a time as an art tutor. Emil Hansen (1878-1952) was one of his students.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Exhibited frequently at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition.
Awarded three Academy Scholarships.
Awarded the Raben-Levetzau Scholarship.
Married Yrsa Sølver Schou.
Exhibited at the Aarhus Exhibition.
Travelled to Norway.
Exhibited frequently with the Art Union.
Travelled to Italy.
Travelled to France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.