Portrait of a young girl with curly hair - Lorens Frolich

Portrait of a young girl with curly hair

(Copenhagen 1820 - id. 1908)

Black pencil on paper
H. 223 mm; W. 223 mm
Signed and dated lower right: Lfröl: / 1840 / April

Date: 1840

Provenance: Private collection

With his long career spanning across Europe, and having lived in Denmark, Germany and France, Frølich occupied a unique position among Danish artists. His work as an illustrator, draftsman and engraver brought him international success.

Starting at age 13, he took drawing lessons with Martinus Rørbye, and later with Købke and C.W. Eckersberg. He became friends with C.P. Skovgaard and J.Th. Lundbye, and took part in the annual exhibitions in Charlottenborg beginning in 1838. In 1840, he settled in Munich to continue his studies, and was influenced by the works of Kaulbach, Peter Cornelius and Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Between 1842 and 1846 he studied in Dresden, where he published his first illustrations.

Following a stay in Rome from 1846 to 1851, he moved to Paris where he worked in Thomas Couture’s studio. He had his debut in the Salon de Paris in 1852, and published his illustrations for A. Fabritius’s History of Denmark in 1854. Frølich’s sketches of his daughter Edma became his inspiration for the famous illustrations of over one hundred children’s books starring Mlle Lilli, published by the French editor Pierre Jules Hetzel. He later illustrated Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1867, 1870, 1871 and 1874 editions). It was only in 1874 that he left Paris to move back to Copenhagen, where he became a professor at the Academy.

In this drawing, the artist finds an ideal model, lightly outlining her delicate facial features and the softness of her hair.

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