Overlooking the Schlei near Haddeby
  • Frederik Christian J. Kiaerskou
  • Copenhagen 1805 - 1891
  • Overlooking the Schlei near Haddeby
  • Oil on paper, mounted on wood
  • old inscription and monogram (?) on the mount: Haddeby Kirke Sleswig F.C.K.
  • 204 × 278 mm
Privy councillor Schlegel (following a Danish label on the verso)

In this summery view, the viewer’s gaze – like that of a resting pair of promenaders in the picture’s foreground – rambles over the gently sloping meadows around the small church of St. Andreas near Haddeby. Just like today, the church stands on the banks of the Schlei, an estuary of the Baltic Sea in present-day Schleswig-Holstein, surrounded by a cemetery.

The commercial city of Schleswig once controlled this inlet, until the ships became too big for the shallow water and Lübeck ascended as the most important harbour in the region. As the description on the backside of the small image says, Schleswig lies on the opposite shore of this view.

Then, as now, sailors savour this natural paradise, which Frederik Kiaerskou sets out so idyllically here in the afternoon light. His palette, reduced to blue and green tones, underscores this pastoral impression. The work was probably created on-site and was later fixed onto wood in the atelier.

Kiaerskou received his artistic training at the Academy in his hometown of Copenhagen. From 1840-43, he gained further experience in the art capitals of Dresden and Munich before settling again in Denmark as a landscape painter.