LUND, Johan Ludwig Gebhard
(b. 1777, Kiel, d. 1867, KÝbenhavn)


Danish painter. He came to Copenhagen to train as an artist, and in 1797, at the age of 22, he started his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art. He came quickly into contact with the rich and powerful of that time, which had a decided influence on his artistic development. He studied under Neoclassicist Nikolai Abildgaard at the Academy from 1797-99, and taught drawing privately during his student years. He received the Academy's small silver medallion in 1798 and the large silver medallion in 1799, but never competed for the gold medallion.

He was friends with Caspar David Friedrich, another student at the Academy and like-minded fellow-romanticist, and traveled with him to Dresden in 1799 to continue his studies at the Dresden Academy. From there he went on to Paris, where he studied under Jacques-Louis David (1800-02). He went on to Italy in 1802, first to Florence and then to Rome, where he lived from 1802 to 1810. In Florence he was deeply affected by the religious art prior to Raphael's time. He was part of the expatriate colony of Danish and German artists and scientists in Italy. Cultured, talented and sociable, he secured himself many important contacts during this time, including those within the Danish royal house.

During his stay in Rome, he associated himself with the German painters known as the Nazarenes, a group of romantic painters headed by Johann Friedrich Overbeck and Peter Cornelius. He studied with them the early Italian style of painting, which was then considered primitive.

In 1803 and 1804 he painted a large picture, "Andromache, Powerless at the Sight of Hector's Maligned Corpse" which is now in the Danish Ambassador's residence in Rome. A companion piece, painted between 1807 and 1811, "Pyrrhus and Andromache at Hector's Grave" is now in the Danish National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen). These paintings helped establish himself as an idealistic and romantic painter, in contrast to rival Neoclassicist Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg's realistic approach to the visual arts. The two artists represented, for many years, opposing viewpoints and cultural ideals in the Danish art scene. He returned to Denmark in 1810.

He began exhibiting at Charlottenborg in 1812 and exhibited there routinely until 1861. He was accepted into the Academy in 1814. Since his bid for the position of royal history painter was refused, he traveled back to Rome where he lived from 1816 to 1819. He had now decided to establish himself as an altar painter, and as a member of the Nazarenes. In 1818 he was finally named professor at the Academy along with Eckersberg and returned to Copenhagen in 1819.

During his 42 years at the Academy Lund had a strong influence on his many students. He encouraged them to study 17th century Dutch landscape art, which could be readily seen in Copenhagen. His closest students include historical painter Ditlev Blunck (1799-1853), and landscape painters Johan Thomas Lundbye, Dankvart Dreyer, Peter Christian Skovgaard, and Vilhelm Kyhn.

His main works were history paintings with historical, mythological and biblical themes, such as the five large paintings at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, which depicted Denmark's various cultural time periods. He is also well known for his altarpieces and paintings of religious themes, which were influenced by his admiration for such Renaissance painters as Fra Angelico, Perugino and Raphael. His small landscapes also received favour from art historian, critic and advocate of a national art movement, Niels Lauritz Hoyen.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krťn and Daniel Marx.