Sinding, Knud (1875-1946)

Sinding, Knud (1875-1946)

Knud Sinding was a Danish artist enamoured with the painting traditions of his homeland.

Sinding was a favourite pupil of eminent artist Kristian Zahrtmann (1843-1917). Zahrtmann first took notice of Sinding’s vivacious use of colour when the young artist was a pupil of his at his preparatory school in Copenhagen. Keen on experimentations with colour himself, Zahrtmann undertook a large amount of Sinding’s teachings.

The elder’s influence can certainly be seen in Sinding’s interest in motifs of Italian folklife. Undertaking many trips to the country over a span of 30 years, Sinding was captured by the idyllic nature of traditional folklife, as was Zahrtmann before him. Figures in traditional dress relax in an inn or prepare a table for dinner, or indeed become the focus of a portrait, framed centrally, a child in his mother’s arms evoking images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Sinding captures each scene with a realism which adds strong character. The viewer feels as if they could be sitting in the room with the subjects of a scene, participating in the actions of their everyday life.

Whilst Sinding did draw strong inspiration from Zahrtmann, as his painting style developed, he became increasingly influenced by the masters of the Danish Golden Age of Painting. Occurring predominantly over the first half of the 19th-Century, the Danish Golden Age of Painting was defined by a strong realism blended with a romantic air which aimed to celebrate Denmark’s natural beauty. Landscapes and interior scenes became increasingly popular. The much more mellowed yet still vivid colour palettes of the Golden Age painters such as Christen Dalsgaard (1824-1907) and Constantin Hansen (1804-1880) are recognisable in Sinding’s work.

Shadows are cast like great sheets across interiors, figures congregated in a room are distinct and singular in expression and mannerism. Sinding gives a true sense of time and place, even as he relies on an older, more traditional style of painting.

Even in his landscapes, which seem to draw more inspiration from the impressionists of France than the Danish Golden Age, feature more muted colours. There is still a vibrancy to be found in the sun-starkened cliff faces of Capri and the haze-washed, far-off mountains, but they do not possess the acidic rush of Zahrtmann’s work.

Sinding exhibited extensively both in Denmark and across Europe in cities such as Munich, something which reflects his interest both in his homeland and other countries. It seems that Sinding was an artist who enjoyed experimenting. Drawing on the painterly traditions of his homeland, as well as being influenced by more modern approaches, he found an affinity with everyday life, especially in Italy.


Born in Aarhus, Denmark.


Worked as a painting apprentice.


Studied at Zhartmann’s preparatory school.


Studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.


Awarded a Royal Academy scholarship.


Awarded the Hielmstierne-Rosencrone scholarship.


Awarded the Raben-Levetzau scholarship.


Married Marie Bolette Carla Nielsen. Awarded a Royal Academy scholarship.


Undertook travel trips to Italy and Germany.


Awarded the Benny Claudi-Pedersen award.


Died in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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