Oat Field (Study), 1843
Peter Christian Skovgaard
Oil on canvas, 25.5 x 28.5 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, KMS 4950
Concurrently with their endeavours to capture the larger lines in nature, Danish artists also worked with detail studies of nature in the 1840s. As a welcome change from the winter's work in the studio, artists went on summer tours to collect studies for their large-scale compositions and to paint sketches that served no other purpose than contemplation and pleasure. This painting of a cornfield is such a study. It was created during a fruitful tour that P.C. Skovgaard conducted in the company of Lundbye in the summer of 1943, journeying to Vejby in Northern Zealand. For almost two months the two artists drew and painted side by side. In this case Skovgaard lost himself in the vegetation of a lush wheat field. The objective was to capture a plethora of green hues and to convey an impression of the abundance of flowers and corn stalks. Behind this type of detail study one senses a certain influence from the Norwegian Dahl, who had a considerable impact on young Danish landscape painters in the 1840s.