This is a portrait of the artist himself. He was born in 1800's Copenhagen. His parents wanted him to become a naval officer, but he had other ambitions. Rembrandt was Bloch's inspiration and hero. A handsome, talented man, wasn't he?
Much of Bloch's greatest success as an artist came from his altarpieces. I sat on a small chair in a dim room and gazed at his glorious Gethsemane. The angel's hair glows from the canvas.
This work is entitled, Let's Go For A Swim! I think it is both clever and whimsical. Bloch had a sense of humor mixed in with all his other gifts. Although I did not show any examples here, his beach scenes are so ahead of their time.
A landscape entitled Rising Moon. I look at this and imagine the damp evening air and the lapping water.
King Christian II Jailed. Notice the depth, color, and light within this painting. The shadows create a disturbing atmosphere. Remarkable.
Getting Ready For the Carnival. I love the reflection in the mirror, the blue wall, and her radiant hair and skin.
These are a series of Bloch's engravings. Amazing that he could create something so intricate by cutting grooves into a hard, blank surface. I really enjoyed Old Woman Feeding Sparrows. It reminded me of the char woman feeding the birds in Mary Poppins.
Sweet. First Love.
At the Pub.
It's interesting to learn that Carl Bloch did not do any etchings for 12 years. Returning to the craft with renewed perspective and passion, he is now known as a true master of this art form. That's a good lesson for us all. It's never too late to begin again. (Even for writers experiencing a creative block ;)
When Bloch's wife died unexpectedly, leaving him with a broken heart and eight children to raise, he faced depression and loss of motivation. His friend, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote, "Write on the canvas; write your seal on immortality. Then you will become noble here on earth."
Carl Heinrich Bloch took his friend's advice and became noble in deed and art. After his death from cancer in 1890, an insightful eulogy was read at his funeral, "Bloch stays and lives."
It's true. He does.