Johannes Larsen: Goldeneyes


Johannes Larsen (1867-1961): Goldeneyes in an Ice Hole


Casein on composition board | 89 x 122 cm | 1899

In the winter picture Goldeneyes in an Ice Hole we can see a high horizon that is typical of Johannes Larsen’s compositions. This creates a special effect where the motif seems to tilt out towards the observer. The four ducks in the foreground of the picture are quite motionless and very sculpturally painted. Three of them are reflected in the water, which underlines their volume and helps to give them relief and a decorative effect. In the background the surface of the ice extends into the distance and with long vertical brushstrokes Johannes Larsen has painted a cold, rainy or snowy winter sky which adds to the thoroughly freezing look of the picture. The water in the ice hole is formed as almost purely ornamental surfaces which along with the matt casein paint and the deep blue and mauve colours make the picture decoratively and ideationally expressive. The style is Symbolist, in accordance with the prevailing tendencies in the art of the day.


Johannes Larsen was above all a man of the island of Funen and of course belonged to the group called the Funen Painters. He grew up in a merchant family in Kerteminde and in 1902 settled down with his family in the same place in the house “Møllebakken”, where he lived for the remainder of his 94 years. He is known as the bird painter, and his interest in birds ranged wide, from many motifs in drawings and paintings to illustrations in scholarly works. It was especially the local area at Kerteminde Bay and the bird life there that Johannes Larsen explored in his pictures.


View more works by Johannes Larsen at Kunstindeks Danmark.

Danish collection