The Cliffs of the Island of Møn, 1842
Oil on canvas, 138 x 197 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, KMS 525
As a citizen of Holstein Gurlitt had natural links to the Copenhagen art scene, but spent a lot of time travelling the German realms. He painted Danish scenes over several periods, meaning that his circle of motifs was wider in scope than that that of his Danish fellow artists. During the years 1840-43 he joined in the celebration of the Danish countryside like the pioneering Lundbye. He was one of the first artists to journey to Jutland, where he found subject matter for several large panoramic landscapes. While Lundbye worked on A Danish Coast, Gurlitt worked on this painting of a scene on the island of Møn, and the two artists undoubtedly inspired each other. With its white cliffs rising straight out of the sea, the eastern coastline of Møn held a special attraction for artists. Gurlitt, however, chose to depict the cliffs from the land side with the Baltic as the backdrop. The pointed chalk spire known as the Summer Spire is outlined against the sky, and the gorge in front creates a pull down towards the sea.