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View from the Embankment of Lake Sortendam

National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen


When Købke’s Lake Sortendam was exhibited in 1839, one Danish critic objected to his choice of subject:

“In almost all his latest work this artist has distinguished himself by conscientious truth and simplicity, but unfortunately also by a conspicuous indifference to his choice of subjects; the latter is highly regrettable as nature possesses much that is dull and ignoble which cannot serve as a worth object for art.”

Anonymous reviewer in Portefeuillen (5 May 1939); translated and cited in David Jackson, Christien Købke, Danish Master of Light (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2010), 82.

About the Artist

Born: Copenhagen, 26 May 1810
Died: Copenhagen, 7 February 1848
Nationality: Danish