Kaj Ejstrup, Pastoral Landscape With Barn

Kaj Ejstrup, Pastoral Landscape With Barn

This early 20th-century oil painting by Danish artist Kaj Ejstrup (1902-1956) depicts a rural view with grazing cattle and barn. It’s striking for its simplicity and conveys Ejstrup’s connection with nature.

At first glance, the composition seems overly simplified, with bold vertical colour bands describing the layers of the landscape. The cattle are basic forms, portrayed with little sense of depth. However, it’s the artist’s almost childlike approach that creates endless charm and seems to bind us to the overall mood.

It’s reminiscent in many ways of several works by the French impressionists and post-impressionists. For example, Degas’, ‘The Return of the Herd’, Seurat’s ‘A House Between Trees’, and Gauguin’s ‘Houses at Vaugirard’. By capturing a view with an emphasis on simple forms and lines, the artist imbues a sense of youthful wonder. A child looking upon the world through fresh eyes.

Ejstrup was primarily self-taught but also trained under Aksel Jørgensen (1883-1957). Together with close friend Karl Bovin (1907-85), he worked a great deal in Odsherred, Zealand, Denmark, which is an area abundant with inspiration. Much like Skagen, it’s known for its effervescent light. Today, scholars refer to the ‘Odsherred Painters’ as a colony that sought to reignite naturalistic painting amid an ever-evolving modernist art world.

Today, many of Ejstrup’s works can be found in the Odsherreds Art Museum. He’s also represented in the Statens Museum for Kunst.

Ejstrup was awarded the prestigious Eckersberg Medal in 1954.

Monogrammed K.E. in the lower left and framed.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 23” x 17” / 59cm x 43cm
Year of creation: c. 1920
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.

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