Carl Bille

Evening Near The Old Knippelsbro In Copenhagen

Carl Bille

Evening Near The Old Knippelsbro In Copenhagen

This fine late 19th-century nocturne by Danish artist Carl Bille (1815-1898) depicts the old Knippelsbro (Knippel Bridge) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

There’s a poignancy to this beautiful work, which is reminiscent of JMW Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’. In 1893, when Carl Bille painted this scene, the wooden bridge seen here had been usurped by a newer alternative. Hence, the use of moonlight feels particularly apt for a relic of the past.

Call out: If you look closely, you’ll notice various figures crossing over, including one that’s stopped to admire the view. A small rowing boat passes underneath.

The name ‘Knippelsbro’ stems from Hans Knip, the bridge caretaker in 1641, and it’s evolved through five incarnations. Here we see the third version, which was decorated with wooden sculptures of the ‘Four Winds’ by Frederik Christian Willerup.

Bille was born in 1815 and would’ve known the area well. In this misty-eyed evocative work, he’s paying tribute to an architectural gem of a pre-railway generation. It’s nostalgic, exquisite and masterful.

Signed/dated lower left and held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 46½” x 33½” / 118cm x 84cm
Year of creation: 1893
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £28,356

Carl Bille

Carl Bille

Carl Ludwig Bille was one of the foremost Danish marine artists of his time. Working during the 19th century, he captured the many shifting states of the sea with a detailed yet dramatic eye. He studied under Carl Dahl (1812-1865) and later at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His works are held in various public collections.

Learn more about Carl Bille in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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