KØBKE, Christen
(b. 1810, København, d. 1848, København)

View from a Window in Toldbodvej Looking Towards the Citadel in Copenhagen

c. 1833
Oil on paper laid down on canvas, 15 x 28 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

Købke spent most of his childhood at the Citadel in Copenhagen where his father was a baker. In 1832 he rented a studio on Toldbodvej (now Esplanaden), which offered him a new view on his childhood home. From the studio window he could look over the neighbour opposite to the Citadel.

Above the treetops he could see the Citadel mill, the ridge turret of the Citadel Church, the red rooftops of the military buildings, and the Oresund coastline in the far distance. In order to create depth in the small picture he added the edge of the neighbouring house’s roof and a chimney in the foreground. The chimney in particular is quite a stroke of genius, testifying to artistic boldness. It is unlikely that any other Danish painter working at the time would have let something as unimportant as a chimney occupy such a central position in a picture.

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