Prytz, Caja (1877-1916)

Prytz, Caja (1877-1916)
Prytz, Caja (1877-1916)

Caja Prytz was an accomplished Danish painter of interiors, landscapes, and portraits.

As an aspiring female artist during the late 19th century, Prytz’s education was never going to be straightforward. At the time, the widely held view by her male counterparts was that women were more suited to the home rather than the easel. The architect Vilhelm Klein went so far as to state that “it is unlikely that anyone would claim that women have the same gifts and abilities as men”. Hence, those seeking to develop their skills beyond basic illustration were forced to seek private tuition away from the leading academies.

For Caja Prytz, however, these societal constraints were little more than a mild inconvenience as, despite the views of the establishment, she succeeded at the highest level. Her first tutor of note was the artist, Julius Paulsen (1860-1940), who would later become a professor at the Academy. And this was followed by a spell training under Otto Haslund (1842-1917). Within a few years, she’d debuted at the foremost show in Denmark - the prestigious Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition.

This early success was followed by an extended study trip to Paris where she was taught by one of the more progressive thinkers of the period - Jacques-Émile Blanche (1861-1942). It’s likely that her studies were undertaken at the Académie de La Palette - a private art school which aimed to promote the 'conciliation entre la liberté et le respect de la tradition’ ('reconciliation between freedom and respect for tradition'). This popular atelier stood for individuality rather than conformity, yet equally held the past masters in high regard.

‘La Palette’ sports an impressive list of alumni including Marc Chagall (1887-1985) and the Scottish colourist Duncan Grant (1885-1978), who may have been there at the same time as Prytz. Artists from across Europe flocked to train with Blanche who was a distinguished portraitist in his own right. Painting a remarkable likeness of Aubrey Beardsley and sitting for John Singer Sargent.

Upon her return, Prytz undertook various portrait commissions but is best known for her interiors. Here, in this delightful piece from 1904, a young girl is sitting on a plush rug in a gloriously sunlit room. She’s absorbed in play and a doll lays alongside. An exquisite oil lamp stands atop a table. The cushions are tastefully embroidered. It was shown at the aforementioned Spring Exhibition and is a fine example of her talent.

Caja Prytz

Little is known about her life beyond this point aside from a trip to Italy in 1908 and sporadic appearances at the ‘Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling’ (‘Artist’s Autumn Exhibition’). She died prematurely at the age of 39.

She’s represented at the Ribe Kunstmuseum.


Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition.

Public Collections

Ribe Kunstmuseum.



Born in 1877 to First Lieutenant, later Colonel, Emmanuel Prytz and Christine Margrethe Prytz (nee Steenstrup).


Trained with Julius Paulsen (1860-1940).


Trained with Otto Haslund (1842-1917).


Painted ‘The Blue Room at Visborggård (Manor)’.


Debuted at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition.


Trained in Paris with Lucien Simon (1861-1945) and Jacques-Émile Blanche (1861-1942).


Produced an altarpiece for Hou Church.


Undertook a study trip to Italy.


Lived in Copenhagen with her widowed father.
Died in Copenhagen.

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