Ditlev Blunck

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Ditlev Blunck
Detlev Conrad Blunck - Selbstbildnis als Freiheitskämpfer (1848).jpg
Self-portrait from 1818
Born (1798-06-22)22 June 1798
Münsterdorf, Holsten, Germany
Died 7 January 1853(1853-01-07) (aged 54)
Hamburg, Germany
Nationality German, Danish
Education Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Known for Painting
Movement Danish Golden Age

Ditlev Conrad Blunck (22 June 1798 – 7 January 1853) was a Danish-German painter associated with the Danish Golden Age during the first half of the 19th century.


Blunck was born in Holsten in 1798. In 1814 he began his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen as a student of C.A. Lorentzen (1746–1828). Concurrently he received teaching from C.W. Eckersberg together with Wilhelm Bendz (1804–1832), Ernst Meyer and Albert Küchler. In 1818 Blunck moved to Munich, presumably dissatisfied with the teaching he received, and enrolled in the Academy as a student. He stayed there until 1820, then returned to Copenhagen.

Detlev Conrad Blunck, a portrait by Theodor Rehbenitz

Back in Denmark, Blunck became a student of the new professor, historical painter J. L. Lund (1777–1867), who was to become a major influence on his painting. Thus, it was also mostly history painting, that marked Blunck's early work. Later, through genre painting, it became representative of the kind of everyday realism, that was to appear in Danish art in the mid-1820s.

gondolier, portrait by Ditlev Blunck, 1832
Ditlev Conrad Blunck: Danske kunstnere på et romersk osteri, 1837

The influence from J. L. Lund grew particularly clear during his stay in Germany beginning in 1828. In Berlin, Munich and Dresden he became acquainted with J. L. Lund's artist-friends, including the famed romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). He was, however, more influenced by the works of Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789–1869) in changing his artistic direction. He began to devote himself to the religious motif and developed like few other Danes a painting style, that was strongly influenced by the Nazarene movement.

In 1840, he was declared persona non grata in Denmark due to his homosexuality.[1] As a result, he left the country, and even fought against Denmark in the First Schleswig War.

Blunck's stay abroad also brought him to Rome. Here, he joined the group around Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844) and produced several of his major paintings including Danish artists in the inn La Gensola.



  • Ulrich Schulte-Wülwer: Malerei in Schleswig-Holstein. Katalog der Gemäldesammlung des Städtischen Museums Flensburg, Boyens, Heide 1989, ISBN 3-8042-0467-8

See also[edit]