H. A. Brendekilde

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H. A. Brendekilde
(date unknown)

Hans Andersen Brendekilde (7 April 1857 Brændekilde, Odense Municipality – 30 March 1942, Jyllinge) was a Danish painter.


Born Hans Andersen to a poor family in rural Funen. As a boy he worked in the house of a farmer doing handy work. As a young man he was apprenticed to a sculptor in Odense.

Then he studied sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen where he became a friend and associate of painter L. A. Ring. In 1881 he also left behind sculpting to take up painting. He and Ring, who were both originally surnamed "Andersen" decided to adopt the names of their natal villages as their surnames to avoid confusion at their joint exhibition, and Hans Andersen became H. A. Brendekilde.[1]

Brendekilde initially worked in a social realist style describing the plight of the rural proletariat in paintings such as his famous "Worn Out" ("Udslidt" 1889) depicting an elderly farmworker lying fallen on his back in the furrowed field. Later his style became more religious, and eventually he mostly portrayed idyllic village life.[2]

Selected paintings[edit]