The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 2, 2022

Nationalmuseum acquires Ditlev Blunck painting
Ditlev Blunck: Allegory of Sunday, 1841. Oil on canvas. NM 7620. Photo: Anna Danielsson/Nationalmuseum.

STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired Allegory of Sunday, a rediscovered work by the Danish-German artist Ditlev Blunck. This the first time the painting has changed ownership since it was produced in 1841. The first owner bought it from the artist, and it was passed down to subsequent generations of the same family until its recent purchase by Nationalmuseum.

The newly acquired painting, Allegory of Sunday, is a striking work of art that undeniably ranks among the artist’s most ambitious pieces. Ditlev Blunck (1798–1854) was active during the period known as the Danish Golden Age, which lasted from around 1810 to 1864. This period saw a flourishing of the arts in Denmark, with the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen at its heart. Quite a few Danish artists of the time, Blunck included, had German roots. Following Denmark’s two wars with Germany, he was overlooked by Danish art historians and consequently slid into obscurity. Blunck’s focus on religious motifs and scenes from everyday life, which in the 20th century were often considered old-fashioned and uninteresting, only exacerbated his obscurity.

Dating from 1841, Allegory of Sunday is an especially fine example of Ditlev Blunck’s religious painting. The work is exquisitely executed, and the overall effect calls to mind both the art of the Renaissance and the 19th-century German painters who took inspiration from it. In a way, an allegory resembles a rebus comprising symbolic components that together constitute a message – something achieved here by Blunck in a highly sophisticated manner. The specially designed frame, carved in wood and painted to coordinate with the image, is an integral part of the artwork. It contains six small paintings representing the other weekdays. The names of the days are inscribed among ornamental loops in the intricate relief work.

The image shows a procession floating through the air above a vast coastal landscape. In the centre is an angel in the form of an adult woman, wearing a red chasuble – the liturgical colour for Pentecost. Pentecost can be seen as a particularly appropriate time to represent Sunday as a day of worship, since in the New Testament it marks the time when Jesus’ disciples began forming a congregation and performing missionary work. Now, the word of God is conveyed in the language of mortals, who are represented by the two boys on either side of the angel. One of the boys carries a Bible in one hand and a crucifix in the other. With his combed-forward, priestlike hair, he could be delivering the Sunday sermon. The second boy is scattering musical notes across the sky and into the landscape below, as if demonstrating the wide reach of their message. He is playing what appears to be a bombarde, a wind instrument that featured in outdoor processions during the Renaissance period. The third boy is floating on his stomach, holding a sword, hoe and shovel. The cobwebs on the hilt of the sword may symbolise peace or the fact that Sunday was a day of rest, allowing spiders to spin their webs undisturbed. A sprig of laurel leaves is wrapped around the tools, probably symbolising the belief that work is a noble thing.

“As a museum, we’re very excited to acquire a rediscovered masterpiece like this, a sleeping beauty that has emerged as a key work in the artist’s oeuvre, and to secure access to it for the art-loving public for all time,” said Carl-Johan Olsson, a curator at Nationalmuseum.

Nationalmuseum receives no state funds with which to acquire design, applied art and artwork; instead the collections are enriched through donations and gifts from private foundations and trusts. The acquisition has been made possible by a generous donation from the Sophia Giesecke Fund.

Today's News

February 4, 2022

What museums don't reveal about religious art

Leon Kossoff: Looking at life with a loaded brush

A Venice Biennale informed by the pandemic will spotlight women

New life for the Wyeth legacy 5 miles out to sea

Clad in a Kimono, a painter of warriors returns to Downtown New York

A struggling San Francisco art school will merge with a university

Yves Saint Laurent takes Paris

Pace partners with Kayne Griffin to open West Coast flagship in Los Angeles in April 2022

Theaster Gates design reveled for Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Nationalmuseum acquires Ditlev Blunck painting

Exhibition at Hauser & Wirth focuses on artists whose work approaches the body and anatomy in complex ways

Monica Vitti, 'queen of Italian cinema,' dies at 90

Art school looked like a lot of fun in the '90s

Birju Maharaj, virtuoso of classical Indian dance, dies at 83

Everard to auction fashions from estate of beloved Southern humorist Jeanne Robertson on Feb. 22

Danai Gurira will star as Richard III at Shakespeare in the Park

Extremely rare Gold 'Leopard' coin from the reign of Edward III to be sold by Dix Noonan Webb

Dolly Parton, Eminem and A Tribe Called Quest are Rock Hall nominees

Robert Colescott masterpiece leads Bonhams Frieze Week sale

Naminapu Maymuru-White: Milngiyawuy, The River of Heaven and Earth opens at Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney

Stephanie Mach to join the Peabody Museum as new Curator of North American Ethnographic Collections

'A Powerful Pantheon: Mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome' comes to Reading Public Museum

Aspen Art Museum launches digital guide with Bloomberg Connects app

Toledo Museum of Art has reinstalled its Cloister Gallery to broaden narrative of art of the Middle Ages

What is Ethereum's growth going to look like in 2022?

The best websites to play bingo online

Famous Art Inspired by Gambling

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful