Schiøttz-Jensen, Niels Frederik (1855-1941)

Schiøttz-Jensen, Niels Frederik (1855-1941)

Niels Frederik Schiøttz-Jensen’s landscapes and genre scenes are awash with a whimsical, sentimental romance.

The Danish artist found much influence from the Danish Golden Age of Painting, which occurred predominantly over the first half of the 19th century. Scenes of the Danish countryside which celebrated its natural beauty whilst also infusing it with a romance which appealed to nationalistic ideologies of identity were incredibly popular. During his time at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Jensen was taught by a number of prominent artists of this era, including Niels Simonsen (1807-1885), Frederick Vermehren (1823-1910), and Johan Exner (1825-1910).

The influence of their teachings is very clear in his works. Jensen casts a hazy spell of dreamlike quality over his scenes through the use of lighter colours. Water is a pastel spillage, hemmed in on either side by flourishing bushes and flower-flicked meadows. He often depicts scenes of the countryside around Denmark, lending to each place a pleasant air. Fishermen preparing their boats for the ocean do not appear salt-stained and wind-beaten. Holidaymakers upon a beach do not find their clothing caked with dirt as they lounge upon their dunes, they appear pristine. Not a hair is out of place in the womens' coiffed locks. The Danish countryside is a serenity.

Jensen also took inspiration from his many trips abroad. For a while he studied in Paris at the Académie Colarossi. He also made ventures to Tunis in Africa, but most predominantly favoured Italy, as did many of his painting peers. Indeed, his former teacher Simonsen also travelled to both Italy and Africa. Perhaps he had inspired his pupil in the blossoming days of his artistic career.

Indeed, despite his travels and teachings elsewhere, Jensen seems to have preferred to stick to his Danish roots. His scenes of traditional folk life in Italy do not lack any of the romance of his scenes of Denmark. A woman dressed in pristine, traditional dress collects aquamarine water from a fountain whilst another collects fruits bursting with colour. In his colourings, Jensen gives a real sense of life heightened and idealised.

Jensen was a frequent exhibitor in Denmark and received numerous awards for his work, including a gold medal from the Academy in 1895. He is a fascinating study of a Danish artist much enamoured with painting traditions in his country whilst working at a time when artistic developments were rapidly changing painting styles across Europe, including in Denmark.

1855

Born in Vordingborg, Denmark.

1873-1879

Studied at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

1880-1941

Exhibited at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, Copenhagen, Denmark.

1882-1883

Studied at the Académie Colarossi, Paris, France.

1886

Married Augusta Salomon. Received a scholarship from the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Travelled to Italy.

1891

Travelled to Italy.

1895

Received a scholarship from the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

1901

Travelled to Tunis, Africa.

1911

Travelled to Rome, Italy.

1941

Died in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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