Rastrup’s painting of Kertinge Bay

01. July 2014 | Johannes Larsen Museum

Picture text: Coastline from Kertinge Bay near Kerteminde, seen from the fjord, 1915. Oil on canvas. Signature L. Rastrup - 15.

The museum acquired this large painting (60 x 82 cm.) of Kertinge Bay, painted by Lars Rastrup, at a Lauritz auction.

The painting was based on a photograph taken between 1895 - 1901 by the painter himself; 15 years later, he was inspired to turn the black and white image into a colourful painting using oil on canvas. The painting shows the environment along the fjord (Kertinge Bay is the innermost part of Kerteminde Fjord) at the turn of the 20th century, and is an interesting depiction of daily life, with bustling activity on the shore. The beach is filled with nets stretched to dry, and the many berths for boats gives the sense of a small harbourfront.

The motif is especially interesting in that it is a view from the water towards the land. Lars Rastrup very likely sat in a boat on the fjord when he took his photograph of the shore, with Munkebo village in the background. The painting and the photograph have differing interpretations of the motif; while the painting creates a romantic and pleasant scene with the help of colours and cropping, the black and white photograph shows a more jumbled and distant scene.

Lars Rastrup (1862-1949) grew up in the poorhouse in Munkebo. In 1884-87, he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Art and got his degree there. In 1888, Lars Rastrup took up photography. He was self-taught in this field, and his motifs were often peasants and fishermen of modest means, a type of motif that very few photographers of the time dealt with. Some of Rastrup's photographs were included in the museum's major summer exhibition in 2013: Skagen and Kerteminde - Art and Fishing.

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