The Painting Technique of Jens Juel – Theory and Practice in the Light of 18th Century Fine Arts Tradition



Jens Juel (1745-1802) is considered one of the most important portrait painters in Denmark. Although he has been the subject of several art historical studies, still little knowledge exists about his painting technique. The division between artist and artisans was still at an early stage. The Royal Danish Art Academy, founded in 1754, only taught art theory and drawing while the act of painting itself took place in the private studios. The studios were independent and their methods and recipes communicated from master to apprentice through oral transfers. A knowledge gap exists when it comes to painting technique in the 18th century. There lies a large amount of material which has now yet been studied from the viewpoint of the fields of technical art history and conservation. The knowledge of the old masters are at risk of becoming lost if we do not make an effort to obtain it. With scientific investigation of paintings by Jens Juel paralleled with contemporary written sources and publications, this project aims to light upon and obtain a larger understanding of how a Danish artist worked in the second half of the 18th century, what materials where used and the studio practice. This will also give a greater insight into the social position of the academic artist, on the distribution of theoretical and practical knowledge across European boarders, and the rise of a market for artistic materials and practice in Denmark. The results of this project will also contribute to an improved preservation strategy and possibly in concerns about authenticity.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/11/201731/10/2020