on December 2, 2007
"In Another Light: Danish Painting In The Nineteenth Century" by Patricia Berman (Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art, Wellesley College) is an impressively illustrated and informative history of Danish artists and their works reflecting and influencing the European art world and included the artistic movements known as Classicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, and Symbolism. A seminal and scholarly study of 19th century Danish art, "In Another Light" is beautifully illustrated with 288 full-color and flawless reproductions of paintings. Of special interest to students of European art, "In Another Light" is very highly recommended to for professional and academic library Art History reference collections, and would make a superb selection Memorial Fund selection choice for community libraries.
on January 25, 2011
As a prefatory observation, unrelated to the overall content of Patricia G. Berman's book, the painting depicted on the dust jacket to this book (which is also illustrated and discussed in the book itself) is a well-known, "signature" icon of early 19th Century Danish Painting. Selecting this iconic painting to illustrate the dust jacket of Ms. Berman's book is apt, compelling, and eye-catching.
The painter (Eckersberg) of the work illustrating the dust jacket of Ms. Berman's book directed and taught painting at the Danish Royal Academy in the early 19th Century, where Eckersberg introduced the study of figure painting in Denmark. Eckersberg is often described as the "father of Danish painting," because of his accomplishments at the Danish Royal Academy. Rather than the human figure, Eckersberg seems to have been more interested in painting nautical subjects (the Danes are a seafaring people), a topic Ms. Berman's book basically does not discuss; however, Ms. Berman's book is a gem notwithstanding.
Eckersberg's work was the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 2004 - and this "signature," iconic painting coincidentally illustrated the cover of this 2004 exhibition's catalog.
So much for the "selling sex" remark in the previous customer review about the dust jacket of Ms. Berman's new book.
Technically, Danes consider the "Golden Age" in Danish painting to be in the first half of the 19th Century. However, there was a second - and distinct - golden age in the second half.
One feature readily evident in Ms. Berman's book is that many Danish paintings illustrated therein are in the private collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb, who I believe once served as U.S. Ambassador to Denmark.
This book's illustrations indicate that Ambassador Loeb's collection is of the highest caliber and quite authoritative - in fact, it's the largest collection of Danish paintings outside of Denmark.
This book's author, Patricia G. Berman, also authored the catalog to the 2005 exhibition "DANISH PAINTINGS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY from the collection of John L. Loeb," which I personally viewed at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut. Ms. Berman's text in that exhibition catalog is excellent: astute, informative, insightful and scholarly - as is this new treatise.
A few fetching paintings in Ambassador Loeb's collection which have Danish "nationalistic" motifs (e.g., "From Dyrehavsbakken," "Winter," and "By the Village Pond at Baldersbronde"), and which appeared in the 2005 exhibition catalog, are not included in the present work. However, there are also some stunning new examples to savor (e.g., "Summer's Day Opposite Hammeren, Bornholm," "Summer Day," and L. A. Ring's "Harvest"). "Nationalistic" motifs was a prominent theme of Danish "Golden Age" painting.
Ms. Berman new book discusses and illustrates many of the prominent - perhaps academically obligatory - masterpieces of Danish 19th Century painting. However, the paintings noted in this review are engaging because they are not well-known and are therefore "new" visual delights.
The relative dearth of English-language reference works concerning 19th Century Danish painting means that Patrica G. Berman's enriching new survey - enriching in high-quality color photography of the artwork and in informative text - is highly welcome.
- Eric Nielsen, Danish-American
on October 4, 2011
This book is a must have for those who are of Danish descent. there is a large respect paid to those who have put Denmark on the map of the artworld. As minute as it may be today, Denmark played a large role in the development of art throughout the 16th 17th and 18th century in Europe. Its own culture, much like that of the Dutch, is reflected in the artwork, which shown in this book, was created by some amazing talent emerging from schools on par with French and Italian atleiers producing heroes of art history. A great collection of art and compilation of charitable history either way, but very important to those who have roots in Danish ancestry. :) Enjoy
on December 8, 2007
I wanted to like this book. Really. It is very well put together. The text is easy to read and interesting. The images are of a high quality. My exposure to this period was almost exclusivly through the artist Peder Kroyer, who is represented in the book. To be honest, I found most of the artists a bit uninteresting, although technically proficient. Doesn't neccessarily make a bad book; you may need a little rain on your sunny day. I will be looking for a more indepth book on Kroyer. The cover does a bit of a disservice in that this is one of three nude figures in the book. Even in nineteenth century Danish art, sex sells.