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Johan Thomas Lundbye Danish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 692

Primarily a landscape painter, Lundbye closely associated himself with nationalistic ideals about Denmark’s land, monuments, and history. His diaries and letters reveal an infatuation with the existentialist philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. In this self-portrait the artist conveys a similar intensity through his vigorous application of pencil and bold use of contour lines. Lundbye’s alert gaze and chiseled features, bathed in shadow, seem to mirror some of the deep-seated vulnerabilities found in his voluminous writings and sketches expressing his anxiety about becoming an adult.

Self-Portrait, Johan Thomas Lundbye (Danish, Kalundborg 1818–1848 Bedsted), Graphite

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