Self-Portrait as Legionnaire, 1848
Oil on canvas, 26 x 20 cm.
Ditlev Blunck (1798-1854)
The Holsteiner Ditlev Blunck won all of the Danish Royal Academy of Art’s medals as well as a travel scholarship to Rome, where he became part of Thorvaldsen’s inner social circle. Blunck spent nearly a decade in the Italian capital, and when he finally returned to Denmark in 1838, he was sent into exile a few years later, most likely as a result of homosexual misconduct. Blunch’s art appears influenced by the academy professor J.L. Lund’s romantic depictions of real-life subjects and distinguishes itself by his stylising of the Eckerbergian naturalism. Lund and Blunck were both closely associated with the German art scene, and particularly the Nazarene’s religious fervor was prevalent in their work. The fact that Blunck even fought on the German side in the First Schleswig War helps explain why he is something of a forgotten painter in Danish art history today.