Viggo Pedersen, Zealand Landscape With Cottages

Viggo Pedersen, Zealand Landscape With Cottages

This early 20th-century oil painting by Danish artist Viggo Pedersen (1854-1926) depicts a picturesque countryside view with cottages. It’s one of his later works and exemplifies his rhythmical approach to brushwork during this period.

A twisting tree on the left frames our view, which extends diagonally across the canvas, past a dense copse, and out towards distant hills. At every juncture, nature is described energetically via deft marks applied with confidence. This is an artist at the peak of his abilities, unshackled by the rigours of Academy life and immersed in his work. Note the cottage, bashful amid a thicket. Its facade reflecting the radiance of Summer. And the range of hues in the foreground, applied with creative vigour.

Can you imagine walking through this verdant setting?

Pedersen was an important member of the Danish artistic community and worked tirelessly to evolve his style throughout his successful career. Over time, his brushwork became looser and more expressive, which brought him closer to the progressive European artists of his generation. In 1891, he co-founded Den Frie Udstilling (The Free Exhibition), established as a rebellion against the traditional views of the Danish Academy. Eminent contemporaries such as Vilhelm Hammershøi, Peder Severin Krøyer, Kristian Zahrtmann, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh exhibited there.

This work from 1918 is exemplary, abundantly true, echoing nature’s naturalistic beauty without embellishment. The light reigns over all - with each element describing its various effects. A few years previous, he’d been to Italy and returned with an unswerving fascination for the sparkling Mediterranean skies. But nothing could usurp his heartfelt connection with rural Denmark.

Pedersen trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he later became a member. He achieved various accolades including multiple medals at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. His works are held in numerous public collections including at museums in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki.

Signed/dated (31st of July 1918) lower right and held within a contemporary frame.

Learn more about Viggo Pedersen in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 26½” x 19½” / 68cm x 50cm
Year of creation: 1918
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Later stretcher.
Artist’s auction maximum: £34,000

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