A charming late 19th-century portrait of publican Lars Mathson by Danish artist Georg Achen (1860-1912). This fascinating little study captures the subject’s character with skill and sensitivity.
Achen was an accomplished painter who generally produced fine interior scenes with figures and beautifully observed landscapes. This piece is unusual for its informality and it’s interesting to consider how he came to create it. It’s noted that Lars Mathson was a publican so perhaps Achen knew him quite well… Or did he owe him a few rounds?
Georg Achen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and later under PS Kroyer (1851-1909). He was a contemporary of Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916) and his interiors bear many similarities.
The portrait is signed/dated, inscribed at the top and housed within a period frame.
Medium: Oil on canvas Overall size: 18” x 19” / 46cm x 48cm Year of creation: 1882 Provenance: Denmark Condition: One scratch to the paint surface. Frame with age-related wear. Artist’s auction highlight: £15,557 achieved for ‘A mother & child winding wool’ at Sotheby’s in 1990.