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Johan Laurentz Jensen (Denmark 1800‑1856)

Flower still life

Hammered at SEK 620.000 at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale Week 16-18 June 2020

Lot 162. Johan Laurentz Jensen (Denmark 1800‑1856) Flower still life with dahlias, lilies and roses in a Greek amphora. Signed and dated JL Jensen 1840 lower right. Oil on relined canvas, 69 x 55 cm


300.000 – 400.000 SEK
€ 28.000 – 38.000


Åmells konsthandel, Stockholm.
A Private Swedish Collection.

In context

The floral world of “Blossom-Jensen”

Known for his sumptuous and detailed flower still lifes, Danish painter Johan Laurentz Jensen became widely recognized. Jensen often depicted colourful flowers arranged as a bouquet standing in a vase or laying on a stone table. As seen in the beautiful, rich flower still life in this sale he has arranged the bouquet of dahlias, lilies and roses and other flowers in an antique Greek amphora.

After studies at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen and as a student of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg and also of Claudius Ditlev Fritzsch, Johan Laurentz Jensen studied porcelain painting at the porcelain factory at Sèvres outside Paris. He could later apply this knowledge at the Kongelige Porcelainsfabrik in Copenhagen when he returned to his home country. Jensen’s love for the nature and his appreciation of the Dutch flower still-lifes can be seen in his magnificent works and the tradition of the flowers paintings revived in Denmark during the 19th century with Jensen as the leading star. Among his students were several female artists who continued this tradition. 

As the leading flower painter during the Danish Golden Age, Jensen dedicated his life to depicting lavish bouquets in glowing colours, giving him the nickname “Blomster-Jensen” (“Blossom-Jensen”). He put a lot of effort in rendering each flower with all its details, and made well-balanced and harmonic compositions. The flower paintings can both be seen for their decorative value as well as for their symbolic connotation. Jensen’s works represent the dream of imperishable beauty and eternal life as the still lifes can express both a joie de vivre but also a vulnerability.

Jensen often used flowers found in Denmark for his paintings and arranged them with more exotic ones, sometimes also accompanied by fruits and birds. A part from his beloved flowers compositions, Jensen also painted hunting still  lifes, whereas there are two fine examples in the sale.

In the exquisite flower still life in this sale, Jensen has used a Greek amphora to contain the bouquet of flowers. The amphora with red figures on black is decorated with a bacchanal scene, fitting for the purpose of the amphora, which used to contain wine. The splendid composition with the wide range of beautiful flowers is a superb example of Jensen’s virtuosity.

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