Ernst Andreas Grundtvig (Danish 1920-1994) ‘Blue Harbour’
1950's oil painting by Danish artist Ernst Andreas Grundtvig in its original frame.
Oil on canvas
Framed size 34 x 47.5 ins (107 x 121 cm)
About the artist:
Though born in a small Danish town, Grundtvig grew up in Copenhagen, where his family moved when he was three. On leaving school he set up studio in Nyhavn, now a chic artist quarter of cafés and boutiques, but then a rough dock area of an active port.
He found work as a stage designer for the nearby Det Kongelige Teater (Royal Theatre) and was admitted to the Danish Art Academy where he made friends with Per Luetken (1916–1998), Carlo Rosberg (1902–1994), and with Preben Siiger (1918–1990) formed the Caravellen Group of artists. Towards the end of the 1930s, Grundtvig was called to military service and was a young lieutenant at the onslaught of Second World War. When Denmark was occupied in April 1940 he travelled to Germany where he found work in the Deutsche Oper (Opera house) in Berlin as a stage designer. While there he was arrested by the SS on suspicion of spying and not released until the war’s end when he returned to Denmark.
For the next ten years he travelled around Scandinavia, painting and exhibiting his work and spent long periods on the Danish island of Bornholm and the Norwegian south and west coasts. He met Anne Wallin and in 1956 moved to the west of Sweden. They married a year later and settled in a Grebbestad, a small fishing village. He painted professionally for more than a decade, but with little success, living a quiet life with his growing family. In the early 1970s his career took off when he received high profile commissions on two of the principal passenger ferries of Swedish Tor Line.
In 1977 he moved to a remote Scottish village, Crossmichael near Castle Douglas on the south-west coast. Having endured a winter in their large, drafty house Mrs Grundtvig fled with one of their sons to Felixstowe, Suffolk, to be near the Swedish Ferry. A year later Grundtvig relented and set up a studio at Snape Maltings to be near his family. The access to Scandinavia proved useful as he continued to exhibit regularly in Sweden. The new owners of the Tor Line, Scandinavian Seaways, continued to commission him.
He held exhibitions at Snape and The Danish Club in Knightsbridge until cancer took him at the age of 73. His ashes were scattered off the Suffolk shore.
His work is represented in numerous museums and public buildings across Northern Europe as well as in many private collections including that of King Harald of Norway. In 1999, a sell-out exhibition of his work was held in Woodbridge, Suffolk.