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Christian Berthelsen
Christian Berthelsen, Village Landscape With Thatched Cottage & Storks

c. 1900

About the Item

This charming 19th-century oil painting by Danish artist Christian Berthelsen (1839-1909) depicts a village scene with storks nesting atop a timber-framed dwelling. Is it simply a gentle portrayal of idyllic family life? Or does it allude to a sinister fairy tale by a well-known Danish author? Berthelsen was born on the small picturesque island of Føhr, where most families worked the land and lived in villages peppered with quaint thatched cottages. Amid these rural communities, children became familiar with various folk stories including those told so menacingly by the author Hans Christian Andersen. In 1839, the year Berthelsen was born, Andersen published ‘Storkene’, a typically macabre tale involving a family of storks. It begins: "On the last house in a little village the storks had built a nest, and the mother stork sat in it with her four young ones, who stretched out their necks and pointed their black beaks, which had not yet turned red like those of the parent birds. A little way off, on the edge of the roof, stood the father stork, quite upright and stiff; not liking to be quite idle, he drew up one leg, and stood on the other, so still that it seemed almost as if he were carved in wood. 'It must look very grand,' thought he, 'for my wife to have a sentry guarding her nest. They do not know that I am her husband; they will think I have been commanded to stand here, which is quite aristocratic' and so he continued standing on one leg.” And then in a gruesome twist, it switches to a group of unruly children who tease the nesting storks with a violent song. It’s too grim to repeat! Did Berthelsen have this in mind when deciding to paint this scene? It’s particularly interesting that it relates to his birth year given the association of storks and children.. Either way, the Danes have long considered the significance of the nesting stork with many believing it brings good luck despite the moral of the fairytale. A fascinating piece. Signed/dated lower left and held within a gilt frame. Labels & Inscriptions: The verso bears two notes. The first appears to list the names of the painting’s former owners. The second provides a short biography. Established in 2017, Brave Fine Art is a premier English art dealership based in Cheltenham with clients including national galleries and country estates. Our team includes a conservator, logistics specialist and art historian. Over 1,000 paintings have been transported to the US and Canada safely with hundreds of glowing reviews. We set our prices fairly from the start as we prefer to sell quickly and continually evolve the collection. Around 40 new discoveries are added every month. If you have any questions at all, we’d love to hear from you.
  • Creator:
    Christian Berthelsen (1839 - 1909, Danish)
  • Creation Year:
    c. 1900
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 19.5 in (49.53 cm)Width: 25 in (63.5 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Areas of in-painting following a previous restoration. Frame with some light wear.
  • Gallery Location:
    Cheltenham, GB
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU2328212928902
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Painting, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI Academic Appointments 1996 - 2011 Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1991-96 Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1987-91 Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1985 Instructor, Simmons College, Boston, MA 1984 Instructor, Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA 1984 Instructor, DeCordova Museum and School, Lincoln, MA 1984 Instructor, Brookline Arts Center, Brookline, MA 1982-84 Assistant Professor, California State University, Long Beach, CA 1978-82 Instructor, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI International Teaching 2011 Professor, UW- Madison, Villa Corsi Salviati, Sesto-Fiorentino, Italy 2006,7 Visiting Affiliate Professor, Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy International Artist Residencies 2017 Fundacio J. Llorens Artigas, Barcelona, (Gallifa) Spain 2015 Fundacio J. Llorens Artigas, Barcelona, (Gallifa) Spain 2002 Fundacio J. Llorens Artigas, Barcelona, (Gallifa) Spain 1990 The Tyrone Guthrie Center, Co. Monaghan, Ireland 1990 Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus,Schwandorf/Fromberg, West Germany 1987 Rockefeller Foundation Residency Fellowship, Bellagio, Italy 1987 The Karolyi Foundation, Vence, France International Research Awards 2010 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Villa di Livia Frescos, Museo Nazionale, Rome, Italy" 2005 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Romanesque Art in France" 2004 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Paintings Inspired by Romanesque Art in France" 2002 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Pagan or Christian, Romanesque Art in Spain" 1998 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Paintings of Neolithic Monuments in Brittany" 1996-7 Vilas Associate Award, University of Wisconsin System, "Paintings of Prehistoric Stone Circles, Ireland and the British Isles 1995 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Paintings of Celtic Ceremonial Sites in Ireland and the British Isles" 1993 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Egg Tempera Paintings in Florence, Italy" 1992 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Paintings of Ireland" 1990 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Figure and Environment: Ireland" 1989 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Figure and Environment Painting: Germany" 1988 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Figure and Landscape Painting: Umbria, Italy" Other Awards 2008 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison 2007 Sabbatical, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2006 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison 2002-3 Emily Mead Baldwin-Bascom Named Professorship, University of Wisconsin 2000 Alumni Arts Achievement Award, Wayne State University Dept. of Art & Art History, Detroit, MI 2000 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison 1999 Faculty Research Fellowship, UW-Madison, "Past /Present: Paintings based on Celtic Imagery" 1999 Sabbatical, University of Wisconsin 1998 Wisconsin Arts Board Visual Arts Fellowship 1993 Faculty Development Grant, "Figurative Sculpture" University of Wisconsin System 1991,93 Visual Arts Development Grant, The Wisconsin Arts Board 1989 Visual Arts Fellowship for Painting, The Wisconsin Arts Board, Madison, WI 1988 National Endowment for the Arts Regional Visual Arts Fellowship, Arts Midwest 1986 Residency, Yaddo Corporation, Saratoga Springs, NY 1985 Residency, The Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY 1985 Residency, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA 1985 Milton and Sally Avery Award for Painting, The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH 1984,5,6 Residency, The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH International Exhibitions 2010 Handmade Artist's Journals, Villa Corsi Salviati, Sesto-Fiorentino, Italy 2008 Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany 1995-99 Jorgensen Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland 1994 "Exquisite Corpse" Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland 1992 "Faces and Places of Ireland" Ulster Bank, Ardara, Co. Donegal, Ireland 199l "Ardara Annual Show" Ardara, Co. Donegal, Ireland 1988 Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus, Schwandorf/Fromberg, West Germany 1988 "Art .... Made in USA" Stadische Galerie, Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut, Regensberg, West Germany 1987 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy One and Two Person Exhibitions 2005 Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI 2001 Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI 2000 Grace Chosy Gallery, Madison, WI 1999 Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI (with John Sayers) 1998 Grace Chosy Gallery, Madison, WI 1997 Barbara Bunting Gallery, Royal Oak, MI 1993 Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI 1993 Carey Gallery, Rochester, MI (with Jo Powers) 1993 J. Cacciola Galleries, New York, N.Y. 1990 Pennsylvania School of Art and Design Art Gallery, Lancaster, PA (with Dan Gihooley) 1990 Hobe Sound Gallery, Brunswick, ME 1990 Levinson Kane Gallery, Boston, MA 1989 Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME 1985 Trustman Gallery, Simmons College, Boston, MA 1982 Willis Gallery, Detroit, MI Selected Group Exhibitions 2015 "Exquisite Corpse" Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL 2014 "Non-Stop" Invitational, Train Depot, Madison, WI 1989-2014 Peltz Gallery, Milwaukee, WI 2012 "Invitational Alumni Exhibition", Elaine Jacobs Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 2002-10 Grace Chosy Gallery, Madison, WI 2008 Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2008 Chapman Museum of Art, Myrtle Beach, NC 2007 Carthage College, Kenosha, WI 2007 Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, SC 2007 "Real and Imagined" Elaine Jacobs Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 2003-7 Ann Nathan Gallery, Chicago, IL 2003 "The Exquisite Snake" Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL 2003 Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, MI 2002 Sonyia Zaks Gallery, Chicago, IL 1995 Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH 1994 Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI 1993 Madison Art Center, Madison, WI 1993 New York Arts Club, New York, N.Y. 1993 "Previews of l993" J. Cacciola Galleries, NY 1992 "Small Painting Exhibition" J. Cacciola Galleries, NY 1992 "Women in the Bowdoin Collection" Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, MA 1992 Steibel Modern, New York, NY 1984-91 Levinson Kane Gallery, Boston, MA 1986-7 Portraits Inc., New York, NY 1985-6 Kathryn Markel Gallery, New York, NY 1981-4 Frumkin and Struve Gallery, Chicago, IL 1984 "All California '84" Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, CA 1983 "Western States Figurative Realism" Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA 1982 "Atlas Building Artists" Detroit Artists Market, Detroit, MI 1981 "Michigan Artists 80-81" Flint Institute of Art, Flint, MI 1981 Detroit Focus Gallery, Detroit, MI 1970 Detroit Art Institute, Detroit, MI Public Collections Heidelberg University, Tiffin, Ohio Fundacio J. Llorens Artigas, Gallifa/Barcelona, Spain American Express Corporation, New York, New York Ulster Bank, Ardara, Co. Donegal, Ireland Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin The Block Museum of Northwestern University Malden Public Library, Malden, Massachusetts Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus, Schwandorf/Fromberg, Germany Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, Kansas Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, Virginia University of Wisconsin, The Graduate School, Madison, Wisconsin Carol Pylant Bibliography 2017 M is for Math, Museum and Manhattan Kansas, by Natasha Rozhkovskaya, Publisher: Tamara Rozhkovskaya Novosibrisk 2015 Exquisite Corpse, Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL. (Exhibition catalogue) 2013 "Remarkable Women Exhibit" by Mary Louise Schumacher, Journal Sentinel, online, Milwaukee, WI, June 25 2012 "Peltz Gallery Celebrates Remarkable Women" by Peggy Sue Dunigan, The Sheperd Express, Milwaukee, WI, July 7 2008 "Teachers Who Can, UW Faculty..." by Jacob Stockinger, The Capital Times, Madison, WI, February 2007 "Art in Nature" by Bill Robbins, Kenosha News, Kenosha, WI, September 14 2004 "Ambition clothes 'Remarkable Women'" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 7 2004 "Waxing enthusiastic over 'Colors'" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 18 2003 "Remarkable Women Celebrated" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 2003 "Art Lesson" by Jennifer Smith, Isthmus, Madison, WI, February 21 2003 "Installation Appreciation" by Kevin Lynch, The Capital Times, February 7 2001 "Pylant unites sketches with classical style" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 12 2001 "WSU Exhibit shows figurative painting" by Keri Guten Cohen, The Detroit Free Press, February 18 1999 "On Art" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel October 12 1999 "School of Art quadrennial exhibition" by John Aehl, The Wisconsin State Journal, January 24 1999 "Something old, something new" by C.R. Gabriel, Isthmus, February 5 1999 "Honoring our Own" Madison Magazine, January 1998 "The Madison Fifty" Madison Magazine, November 1997 "Back in the Game" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Nov. 26 1997 "Three artists will charm at local shows" by Joy Hakanson Colby, The Detroit News, May 8 1997 "At the Galleries" by Keri Guten Cohen, The Detroit Free Press, April 27 1997 "Talent not gender, is focus at show", by James Auer, Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, December 11 1996 "Remarkable Women Exhibition" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Jan 14 1994 "In Art, these 20 made an impression in '93" by James Auer, The Milwaukee Journal, Jan 9 1994 "Window to the World" by Michelle Grabner, Milwaukee Magazine, Guide to the Arts, February 1994 "Art of Love: ..." by Elby Frieda Abbe, Milwaukee Sentinel, Let's Go. 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