Alpine Road, 1934

by Harald Pryn


MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 28.0 x 39.5 ins/ 71.1 x 100.3 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘Harald Pryn’ (lower right)


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    This painting is a charming picture from the popular oeuvre of the Danish landscape artist Harald Pryn. He had an obsession for snowy countryside scenes, and is the most coveted artist for this particular genre. He painted a great number of these winter landscapes, and Alpine Road is a particularly fine example, in which the artist has managed to capture the uniqueness of the cold light on a bright day in Northern Europe. The autumnal colours of the Alps are also excellently rendered, and one can virtually single out the different species of trees that flank the road, which have been depicted with almost photographic precision. Fine details include the stubbly stalks of grass which poke through the snow at the side of the track.

    Private Collection, United Kingdom

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    Very little is known about the biographical detail of the life of the artist Harald Julius Niels Pryn, except that he was a very accomplished, and apparently self-taught, landscape painter. He was born in Frederiksberg, in West Copenhagen, which was even then an affluent part of the city and an historic summer retreat for the royal family. Pryn lived and worked in the region of Bagsvaerd, Denmark – and many of his paintings are signed with his name and the name of that place. He left behind an astonishingly large and valuable body of work, which has since met with great popularity. His opus is characterised by idyllic snowy scenes such as this one, Alpine Road. However, several interior scenes and summer landscapes have been attributed to him too. Pryn is known to have worked closely with another Danish landscape painter, Olaf Viggo Peter Langer (1860-1942), and was perhaps taught by him.


    Although much of Pryn’s life story has been forgotten, his work remains nonetheless sought-after. His paintings continue to fetch high prices at London’s big auction houses; such as Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, as well as all over Northern Europe. This is an excellent opportunity to own a very fine piece of the Danish artist’s oeuvre.

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