Danish artist Christian Tilemann-Petersen had an affinity for capturing the grand, historic interiors and exteriors of many a castle, cathedral, and estate throughout Europe. His detailed studies offer a snapshot of rooms and buildings which form an important historical record, as well as an example of fine artistry.
Tilemann-Petersen’s career began, as many other Danish artists’ careers did, at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts. His time here must surely have honed his natural skill and instilled in him a canny knowledge of depicting perspective and depth. These skills would become particularly useful for Tilemann-Petersen as he discovered his niche artistic interest in interiors and architecture. Whilst many of his peers were turning towards the more emotional and expressive stylings of the impressionists, Tilemann-Petersen seems to have found an affinity with the past.
He captures the gorgeous, historic interiors of many a location with as much detail and discretion as an historian. The sumptuous decadence of Fredensborg Castle is captured in miniature by Tilemann-Petersen’s brush. With gentle brushstrokes he applies a realism which, whilst necessary for his craft, goes beyond simple imitation. Tilemann-Petersen captures the personality of each interior and exterior he turns his attention to, translating its spirit onto his canvas. Gilded furnishings and masterly crafted plasterwork are seemingly captured through a bewitching spell. A canny knowledge of light and shadow creates a depth and realism far from the fantastical, whilst at the same time transporting the viewer through time and space.
Tilemann-Petersen travelled across the lengths and breadths of Europe capturing different buildings with his brush. From the far reaches of the Danish isle of Funen, to the British isles, and the monumental round tower of Windsor and the ancient tombs of Anglo-Saxon kings in Winchester Cathedral, Tilemann-Petersen turned his hand.
Despite his many travels across Europe, Tilemann-Petersen remained loyal to his homeland. He donated a collection of five interiors to Frederiksborg Museum intended to capture small slices of Denmark’s history through its architecture.
He exhibited frequently, too, at many Danish exhibition spaces, and worked, in between his travels, at various schools as a drawing teacher. Tilemann-Petersen’s life is a snapshot of the various enterprises Danish artists could undertake in the early 20th century and, indeed, how they made their living.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Exhibited at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition.
Taught drawing at the Technical School.
Taught drawing at Lyngby State School, Copenhagen.
Exhibited with the Dyrehaven Painters.
Taught drawing at Svanholm Gymnasium-Schneekloths School, Copenhagen.
Exhibited at The Art Union.
Died in Copenhagen, Denmark.