Sophus Jacobsen (Norwegian, 1833-1912)
Property from a European Collection
Sophus Jacobsen (Norwegian, 1833-1912)

Snowy Churchyard

Details
Sophus Jacobsen (Norwegian, 1833-1912)
Snowy Churchyard
signed 'S. Jacobsen.' (lower left)
oil on canvas, unframed
62 ¼ x 48 7/8 in. (158.1 x 124.1 cm.)
Provenance
Private collection, Germany, acquired in the 1930s.
By descent to the present owner.

Brought to you by

Laura Mathis
Laura Mathis

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Lot Essay

Sophus Jacobsen is best known for his haunting paintings which incorporate aspects of both Nordic and German Romanticism. Though born in Norway, Jacobsen is considered a member of the Düsseldorf school, as the artist relocated to Düsseldorf at age 20 in order to train with his fellow Norwegian Hans Fredrik Gude, and would remain there for the rest of his life. Much of Jacobsen's work strongly recalls the moody seascapes of Johan Christian Dahl and the elegiac landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich. The present work, which depicts a church set in a dense, snow-covered forest, owes a particular debt to Friedrich. The sense of isolation within the landscape (only a single set of footprints appears in the snow, leading off the canvas toward the viewer’s position), the cross rising before the setting sun and the simultaneous contemplation of religion and nature are all strongly evocative of Friedrich’s influence.

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