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Countryside landscapes of one of the finest and richest artists of the Danish Golden Age: Peder Mörk Mönsted
Countryside landscapes of one of the finest and richest artists of the Danish Golden Age: Peder Mörk Mönsted

Denmark's "Golden Age" gave the world many talented painters who revolutionized European art. Danish artist Peder Mörk Mönsted, ranked among their pleiad, is recognized as one of the best realist landscape painters who worked at the turn of the past two eras, as well as one of the wealthiest painting masters in Europe.

By and large, the first half of the 19th century is considered the "Golden Age" in European culture, including painting. It was the time when, having absorbed and creatively rethinking world trends in art, the artists of European countries became the authors of the greatest works of art. However, despite the fact that the Dane Peder Mønsted was born at the end of this amazing period (and he began to create even later), he was considered a vivid representative and successor of the ideas of genius masters who changed the idea of ​​fine art.

Winter landscape. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

The painter became known to the world for his detailed landscape and rural landscapes, which impress the viewer with the grandeur of both dense forests and endless fields, and scenes from the rural life of the Danes, conveyed with incredibly high accuracy and naturalism.

The village of Lindenburg. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

However, at the turn of the century, Mønsted was heavily influenced by French Impressionism and his style underwent a change. The master's paintings acquired a certain romantic and poetic mood, filled with air and freshness, but at the same time did not lose their former refinement and realism.

On a snow-covered road. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

The artist, as before, paid special attention to precise details and color, but he had already moved away from classical academicism, his paintings began to play with a certain novelty and were literally inspired by the master's brush.

Sleigh rides on a sunny winter day. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

About the artist

The famous Danish realist painter, recognized master of landscape, representative of the "golden age" of Danish painting - Peder Mørk Mønsted was born in 1859 in the eastern part of Denmark in the village of Balle Möllen on the Jutland Peninsula, in the family of a successful shipbuilder. From childhood, parents noticed their son's gift for drawing and in every possible way attracted him to creativity. As a teenager, the boy attended drawing lessons at the Art School in Aarhus and very successfully developed his inclinations.

Danish artist Peder Mörk Mönsted. Self-portrait

As a 16-year-old teenager, Peder entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he studied academic painting for three years under the guidance of the famous masters of genre painting of Denmark - Andries Fritz and Julius Exner. Then the talented young man took a course at the private school of Peder Severin Kruyer, who was one of the most famous and brightest artists of the community of Danish and northern artists working in Skagen.

Pastoral landscape after a thunderstorm. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

After graduating in 1882, the 20-year-old boy went to sunny Italy for impressions, where the soul of the Dane was conquered by the beauty and brightness of the colors of the southern landscapes. By the way, Peder Mønsted traveled a lot during his creative career, often visited Switzerland, Italy, North Africa. During these travels, the artist constantly made sketches of landscapes and local residents. And in Greece, where he stayed at the royal court for a year, Peder painted portraits of members of the royal family and those close to him.

Pastoral landscape. Meadow. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

In 1884, before returning from his wanderings to his home in Denmark, he visited Paris and stayed there for four months, during which he studied at the studio of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a French artist and a prominent representative of the 19th century salon academism. In those years, not a single exhibition at the Salon could do without his works. By the way, the name Bouguereau was at the head of French painting almost until the beginning of the twentieth century.

You can find a brief biography and amazing work of this talented master in our publication: William Bouguereau is a brilliant artist who painted 800 paintings and was forgotten for a century.

Birch grove in autumn. (1903) Oil on canvas. 114 x 70.5 cm. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

Having adopted some secrets of the profession and skill from the venerable French painter, Peder Mörk Mönsted returned home and plunged into creativity. And after a while he left his workshop again, going on another journey in order to be saturated with inspiration.

Sunset over a forest lake. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

The outbreak of World War I forced Mønsted to cut back on his European travel, but in the 1920s and 1930s he again traveled to the Mediterranean countries. During these trips, many sketches were created, which later became paintings presented at several international exhibitions in the salons of Paris and Munich.

At a lake. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

The incredibly realistic paintings of the Dane, breathing life and painting, were highly appreciated by his contemporaries. He was especially popular in Germany, where he held several solo exhibitions at the Glaspalast in Munich.

River Landskub. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

Now the canvases of Peder Mörk Mönsted are kept in many museums in Europe, in particular, his works adorn the collections of the museums of Aalborg, Bautsen, Randers, his works can also be found in the Chi-Mei Museum in Taiwan and the Dahesh Museum in New York. A huge number of paintings were sold to numerous private collections. In memory of the genius master of landscape, in 1995 a large retrospective of works entitled "The Light of the North" was held in Frankfurt am Main.

A stream in the forest, 1905. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

A few words about the artist's works

It is worth noting that despite the artist's numerous travels across Europe and Africa, most of the canvases were nevertheless painted by Peder Mønsted in Denmark and are dedicated to her. However, the author devoted many works to the pristine northern landscapes of Scandinavia.

Sunset on the river. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

Imbued with a sense of atmosphere and inspiration, the landscapes of the Danish artist are incredibly detailed, but at the same time they do not seem overworked. And this was not easy to achieve. Also incredibly impressive is the use of a color palette, where colors, regardless of mutedness, seem rich and united by light.

Note how Mønsted often used black for his shadows, rather than the navy blue, green, and magenta often used by the Impressionists. Black is often avoided by many landscape painters, but when used correctly, it can be extremely effective.

On the river. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

Looking at the artist's paintings, the viewer literally plunges into a sense of serenity and peace. This is especially felt in paintings where the main motive is water. It is this natural element that arouses the greatest admiration in the author's works. The serene beauty of rivers, lakes and streams is truly mesmerizing: so realistically depicted on them are reflections on the surface, and splashes and light waves.

Anchorage of the boat on a calm lake. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

It is known that many, even famous Impressionists, had real problems when it came to depicting water in their compositions. And they finished their images by focusing more on the effects of light than on the realistic image.

Calf, 1931. Author: Peder Mörk Mönsted

The Danish master's rustic landscapes with their inhabitants and small houses drowned in flowers are incredibly warm and soulful. Truly impressive.

Rural landscape of the painter Peder Mønsted Rural landscapes by the artist Peder Mønsted Rural landscapes of the artist Peder Mønsted Rural landscapes of the artist Peder Mønsted Rural landscapes by the artist Peder Mønsted Rural landscapes by the artist Peder Mønsted

Peder Mörk Mönsted died in 1941. Until his death, he was one of the most popular and wealthy European painters. His talent brought him great recognition and wealth. However, deservedly so.

The Golden Age gave the world many talented landscape painters, including Russians, who entered the history of world art. And today I would like to recall the name of one of them, as well as bring to your attention a stunning gallery of his landscapes. The mysterious artist Arseny Meshchersky, who studied painting from the age of 3 and became one of the best landscape painters of the 19th century.- in our publication.

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