Heinrich Hansen's image of the 'Puerta del Sol' gives us the impression that the medieval Spanish Toledo, he visited while travelling around Southern Europe, had on the Danish painter: The massive and well-fortified town gate from the late 14th century is presented on the right side of the canvas while the artist commands a view towards an arcadian-looking landscape. It´s characteristic for the artist, who loved painting architecture, that the city gate is represented so detailed – in this way Hansen brought the golden age of mudéjar style to mind, when Islamic and European architecture joined successfully in Spain in the late Middle Ages.
The painting is in very good condition consistent with the age. The varnish is slightly darkened. Overall tiny craquelé can be seen on the canvas and scattered marks. There are areas with scuffing due to the frame along the upper edges and corners of the canvas. The painting has been skillfully repaired. Retouched spots can be mainly seen in the sky close to the left edge and in the shadow close to the right edge. The frame shows traces of usage as marks, tears and scratches partially with loss of color.
Heinrich Hansen (1821-1890)
The Danish artist Heinrich Hansen, a painter and artisan of the 19th century, especially interested in Northern Renaissance, is mainly known for his depictions of architecture and interiors as well as for his handcrafts. At the beginning of the 1840s Hansen studied at the academy of Copenhagen and assisted among others in the paintings of the chapel of Christians IV. in the cathedral of Roskilde. Several study trips took him around Northern and Southern Europe searching for inspiration and stimulus for his architecture and interior studies. In the 1960s he became professor for perspective at the academy of Copenhagen. Another important sphere of activity were the applied arts: The artist designed porcelain and ceramic and for some time he was even the head of the Danish porcelain manufacture Bing & Grøndahl. His oeuvre is mainly characterized by the precision and detail of the pictures and by the delicate presentation of the incidence of light. Works of the artist are in the following collections: National Gallery of Denmark, Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek in Copenhagen and in The Museum of National History in Frederiksborg. (msc)