136. Frederik Sødring

Aalborg 1809 – 1862 Hellerup

The Monastery of Alpirsbach near Freudenstadt (Black Forest), late 1830s

Sødring joined the Copenhagen Academy in 1825, studying alongside Christen Købke with whom he would later share a studio. He was strongly influenced by German Romantic landscape painting and the work of Johan Christian Dahl (cat. 14), having made his debut at Charlottenborg in 1828 with two copies after the Norwegian master. Sødring never journeyed south of the Alps. He spent some time in Sweden and Norway, and travelled to Germany in 1836-38, staying mostly in Munich and making a number of sketching excursions to the Rhine. This view of the monastery of Alpirsbach was probably painted on such an occasion. Characteristically for the artist, it presents the motif from an unusual, informal point of view. In a restrained palette of reds and browns, he meticulously captured the range of materials and textures in the dilapidated courtyard. Bricks, stones, logs of wood and planks and beams – the scene appears as a still-life of building and heating materials. A makeshift shed is carefully painted with light falling through the openings in its roof. Despite the broken windows, the building seems inhabited and we see laundry drying and the silhouette of a figure on the second floor.