Mackeprang, Adolf (1833-1911)

Mackeprang, Adolf (1833-1911)
Mackeprang, Adolf (1833-1911)

Adolf Mackeprang was a Danish painter of animals and landscapes.

Born in Langesø near Odense, Mackeprang’s early years underpinned his affinity for the natural world. His father, Johannes Mackeprang, was a tenant farmer and taught him the basis of agriculture. Needless to say, he would’ve been surrounded by animals during his formative years, probably sketching them in his spare time. His father also taught him the fundamentals of drawing.

Clearly a precocious talent, at 16, young Mackeprang gained access to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he honed his talent in a formal environment. And by 1857, he was exhibiting as a landscape painter. But this early desire to exhibit landscapes was soon usurped by his passion for figurative work, and he began to dedicate his time to animal painting.

It was here that he truly excelled and his talent became immediately obvious. Unlike his British contemporary, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA (1802-1873), his animals lack sentimentality or deeper metaphor. They simply exist - adroitly captured in a naturalistic manner, without embellishment.

In 1870, the Academy awarded him a foreign scholarship, which provided the ample fruits of overseas travel. His trips to France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Holland proving particularly useful. However, despite witnessing a variety of picturesque views, he maintained his affection for animal painting. Deers mingle under the bough of an ancient tree, cattle meander through dappled water, a donkey stands solemnly before a mountainous vista.

Adolf Mackeprang, Donkey On A Mountain Hill

Highly respected as one of the finest animal painters of his generation, he exhibited annually at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, missing only two years between 1857 and 1911. The Danish Royal Family acquired one of his works in 1875.


Born in Langesø near Odense, Denmark, to Johannes Mackeprang (1785-1874) and Louise Adelaide née Stounder (1799-1878).

As a boy, studied under Jørgen Christian Larsen.


Began studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.


Debuted at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition where he continued to exhibit regularly, missing only two years between 1857 and 1911.


Married Emma Louise Christine Christensen, daughter of Christen Christensen, a sculptor and medal-maker (1806-1845).


Awarded a travel scholarship from the Academy.


Travelled to Italy.


‘Raadyrwas’ acquired by the Royal Painting Collection.


Exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.


Elected a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts but refused to accept.


Died in Frederiksberg, Denmark.

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