Selfportrait of the artist at his easel - Constantin Carl Christian Hansen

Selfportrait of the artist at his easel

Constantin Carl Christian HANSEN
(Rome 1804 - Copenhague 1880)

Ink on paper
H. 198 mm; W. 167 mm
Inscribed lower centre: Tegnet af Konstantin Hansen (“Drawing by Konstantin Hansen”)

Date: ca. 1850

Provenance: Private collection

Baptized in Vienna, Hansen received his Christian name from Mozart’s widow Constance, his godmother. He received his early artistic training from his father, the portrait painter Hans Hansen (1769-1828).
In 1816 he started to study at the Royal Academy with the intention of becoming an architect. Nine years later, in 1825, he decided to dedicate himself completely to painting. Between 1829 and 1833, he studied under C.W. Eckersberg, who would strongly influence him. Like his teacher, he cared a lot about strict and clear composition. He was also a refined colorist and in his best studies he obtained color effects which began to resemble those associated with Impressionism.
During his nine years in Italy (1835-1844) he mainly studied architectural and decorative painting. Together with his friend Georg Hilker (1807-1875), he studied antique painting in Naples and Pompeii, which enabled him to later paint the entrance hall at Copenhagen University. He also completed several portraits and paintings of everyday life. He is best known for his paintings of ancient buildings. Like Eckersberg, he sometimes painted fragments of these historical structures, occasionally viewed from very close up and therefore not immediately recognizable. He exhibited at Charlottenborg between 1824 and 1878 and received various prizes and distinctions. He was appointed professor at the Academy in 1854 and served as Director from 1873 to 1879.

Hansen did a number of self-portraits, though this particular drawing is rare for its satiric component.

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