GAD FREDERICK CLEMENT
THE ARTIST'S WIFE AND CHILDREN
Oil on Canvas
49¼ x 55 Inches
Signed Lower Left, "Clement"
Additionally Signed, Verso, and Titled, 'Vesterby, Skagen'
Framed Dimensions: 62 x 68 x 3 Inches
Skagen Museum, Circa 1920, from Label, Verso, on Stretcher
'Helsinki Art Gallery, Danish Furniture Art, 1928', from Label, Verso, on Frame
'Danish Art Convention Forum, 1929', from Label, Verso, on Frame
By Descent Through the Family of the Artist
A substantial, early 20th-century, painting of the artist's wife, Martha Caroline 'Tupsy' Clement (1871-1959), working at her easel in the presence of their daughters, Bitten (b.1912) and Lillemor (b.1909). Gad Frederick Clement painted this idyllic family scene in the garden of their summer house by Vesterby beach on the island of Skagen, circa 1920. He and Tupsy took their summers there every year from 1908 until 1920, when they began to summer in Civita dAntino, Italy.
In this large and masterful work, perhaps the crowning achievement of his career, Clement accomplishes a remarkable evocation of the bonds of maternity and childhood. While combining the ideal and the lyrical, his vision also reaches for, and achieves, a deeply satisfying emotional complexity. He has also allowed the scintillating, decorative surface to become a vehicle for the profound psychological penetration with which he has imbued his subjects.
Gad Frederik Clement, known as G. F. Clement (Danish, 1867-1933), first studied at Copenhagen's Technical School (1883–85) before attending the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris (1885-1888). Returning to Denmark in 1888, he continued his studies under Laurits Tuxen and Frans Schwartz and, finally, under Kristian Zahrtmann.
Clement returned to France in 1890 with his friend, the Modernist painter, Mogens Ballin. In 1890, he spent time with Paul Gauguin in Brittany and began to adopt the Symbolist style that was evident in the works he exhibited at Copenhagen's 1893 Charlottenborg Exhibition. However, Clement's journeys to Italy from 1890 simultaneously led him to the works of the early Italian masters including Masaccio and Lorenzo di Credi. The clarity and color of these early Renaissance works can increasingly be seen in Clement's exhibited paintings of 1894-8. After the turn of the century, he gradually evolved a more relaxed and naturalistic style, combining both realism and Impressionism, of which the present work is such an outstanding example.
Over the course of a long and successful career, Gad Clement exhibited internationally with success, including at the Charlottenborg Exhibition, beginning in 1890, and the Salon des Artistes Français, from 1893. Clement was the recipient of numerous prizes, medals and juried awards including an honorable mention at the Paris Universal Exposition (1900) and the Gold Medal of the Munich Academy (1909).
E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Jacques Busse, 1999 Nouvelle Édition, Gründ 1911, Vol. 3, p. 699; Thieme-Becker Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zu Gengenwart, Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 1992, Vol. 7/8, p. 79-80; Weilbach, Dansk Kunstnerleksikon, the Castle and Cultural Agency, Copenhagen; The tower, feb. 1894; Pole. 17.4.1909 (N. Lützhøft); 24.4.1909; Kr. Zahrtmann, En; E. Hannover, Danische Kunst des 19. Jajrj., Leipzig 1907, p. 135; Kat. der Munchener Glaspal.-Ausst. 1909; "Kunstbladet" 1898 p. 149; et al.