Carl Vilhelm Meyer, The Man At The Bench Study

Carl Vilhelm Meyer, The Man At The Bench Study

An enigmatic early 20th-century oil on canvas depicting a man standing before a bench by Danish artist, Carl Vilhelm Meyer (1870-1938).

During our research, we discovered that this is a study for a work that’s almost two metres wide. The original can be viewed here:

It’s fascinating to compare them side by side as you can examine the differences, which provides insight into the artist’s thinking. For example, note the angle of the gentleman’s head - it’s straight on in this study yet turned slightly to the right in the final version. The right hand is also a little lower. What else can you spot?

Carl Meyer was a conscientious artist that tended to depict the most downtrodden in society. He painted with empathy for those who had little and as such was often referred to as the ‘poor man’s painter’.

He produced a number of large canvases during the First World War and this was probably one of them.

The painting is signed/dated in the lower right.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 37” x 33” / 94cm x 84cm
Year of creation: 1918
Provenance: Denmark
Condition: Very presentable.
Artist’s auction highlight: £12,100 achieved for ‘A young girl in an interior’ at Sotheby’s in 1989.

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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