The Harbor of Copenhagen from the Esplanade between Langelinie Park and Toldboden or the Customs House
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg Danish
During his time as a student at the Royal Academy, Eckersberg supported himself by making drawings of well-known locations in Copenhagen. In this view he filled the harbor with ships of all kinds, many proudly flying the Danish flag. The profusion of ships belies the utter devastation of Denmark’s navy and merchant fleet as a result of bombardment by the British in 1807. When this drawing was made, in fact, the Kingdom of Denmark was actively fighting the British in the Gunboat War and the nation was plunging toward bankruptcy. None of this turmoil is evident in Eckersberg’s idyll, in which fashionably dressed civilians, watched over by a lone soldier, seem to be at peace and prosperous. The only vestiges of war are the battery of cannons lining the promenade.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.