by Alexandra Tuschka
Christen Koebke spent most of his life in Copenhagen. His hometown then also became the fundamental source of inspiration for the artist. Since a brief stay in Italy in his 20s, these influences are also recognizable in the ouevre. Nevertheless, the artist remained true to the typical Scandinavian themes and light conditions throughout his life.
This is such an exemplary work, which thematizes the everyday hustle and bustle of the Danes. In large format Koebke shows a street in Østerbro, a small town near the capital. Various figures have gathered on this morning on the sunlit street. Depicted is Østerbrogade - the main street of the village. Some women stop along the way to have a chat. Others are on their way to work or driving cattle across the street. Peasants and the middle class unite at this moment, which is shown especially on the carriage in the center of the picture by the people of both classes sitting next to each other. Everyone has their place here.
The warm lighting conditions and the attention to detail distinguish this work. Christen Koebke's works are considered one of the main representatives of the golden age of Danish painting, which had its peak in the first half of the 19th century.
Christen Koebke - A street in Oesterbro
Oil on canvas, 1836, 118.1 x 173.3 cm, Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen