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Genre Painting

Colourful scenes from everyday life, a tranquil home life and ordinary indoor situations from artists’ studios are typical “genre picture” motifs. Wilhelm Bendz, Martinus Rørbye and Wilhelm Marstrand were not only the Danish pioneers in this genre, but each individually represented the differences that are to be found in it – from silent rooms to noisy streets.

In a review of an exhibition in 1828, N.L. Høyen described genre painting as history painting “applied to scenes of daily life in works of lesser import”. The necessity of such an explanation was due to the fact that Danish genre painting only emerged in 1825-28 and was therefore not yet particularly familiar.
Together with portrait and landscape painting, genre painting became the art of the bourgeoisie in Europe in the 19th century. Here, middle class citizens could, among other things, recognise their own virtues such as industry and maternal love, but also see the life of the people presented in a perspective that was both moralistic and satirical.

Wilhelm Benz: Interior from Amaliegade with the Artist’s Brothers. 1831. Den Hirschsprungske Samling

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