This week’s featured winter artist is the Dane, Peder Mørk Mønsted (1859-1941). He was considered the leading Danish landscapist of his period. A success in his time, most of his works lie in private hands, but we are fortunate that many have been made public so that we can showcase a number of them here in this post.
Mønsted was a plein air painter* of the realistic genre especially celebrated for his naturalistic Scandinavian/Danish summer and stark winter landscapes. He was able to distill the essence of place having an especially keen sense of the ambient light; he was adept at forest interiors and the play of water. His scenes with human figures are used more to set the mood and depict ordinary activitie than to be a focal point. It is interesting to look at the local rural architectural styles and the depictions of an idyllic Scandinavian lifestyle of that late 19th to early 20th century.
He was a virtuouso whose exquisite command of color through tonal and temperature shifts created mood and atmosphere with great attention to detail. Yet, his controlled hand was not that of a fussy depiction of the details of a scene, rather his rendering of the lights and darks came from a masterful use of brush strokes and laying of texture to create our perception of depth and giving a realistic look. His painterly skills are considered of untouchable quality, i.e. “a painter’s painter”.
- Plein air-outdoors painting was faciliated by invention of portable tubes of paint and the box easel with telecoping legs which could be hauled up hills and other spots for the artist to work on the scene rather than from sketches.
Note the pink light…
Clingy snow on the branches is so realistic.
Note all the angles in this composition and his depiction of the water.
Predominance of whites and greys conveying mood. Magpies.
One of his motifs: light coming through the crowns of trees:
And because we are expecting our first major snow of this season, here’s this one!