Christian Blache

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Christian Blache
Christian Blache, c. 1900
Christian Blache, c. 1900
Born Christian Vigilius Blache
Died 1920

Christian Vigilius Blache (1838–1920) was a Danish marine painter. After studying at the Academy under C.F. Sørensen, he travelled widely painting ships and seascapes throughout Denmark as well as in Scotland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. He was an early visitor to Skagen in the north of Jutland where an artists' colony was to emerge a little later.

Early life and education

Born in Aarhus, Blache was the son of the headmaster of the Cathedral School. After matriculating from high school in 1857, he first served an apprenticeship in shipbuilding. He entered the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1861 where he studied under C.F. Sørensen, graduating in 1867. He travelled widely in Europe in 1872.[1]


Christian Blache: Sailboats on the sea, view from the beach in Skagen (1869)

Blache belonged to the younger generation of Denmark's classical marine painters but had studied under one of the earlier masters, C.F. Sørensen. Like his colleagues, he had a good knowledge of ships and chose subjects mainly from home waters and coasts. He travelled through the whole of Denmark, painting many acclaimed works of the west coast of Jutland. Some of his more dramatic paintings depict scenes of stormy weather. He travelled to Paris in 1878 to see the paintings in the World Exhibition. His paintings include scenes of Skagen, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.[1]

From 1863, he exhibited in Charlottenborg and continued to do so almost every year until 1920, exhibiting over 200 paintings in all. In 1888, he was awarded the Eckersberg Medal.[1][2]

Among his most notable works are Fra Begtrupvig ved Hels (1864) and Panserskibet Ivar Huilfeldt passerer Forbjerget Stat i en Storm (1893).[3]


Blache was one of the first artists to visit Skagen in the far north of Jutland where an artists' colony emerged in the late 1870s. It was as a result of his influence that Holger Drachmann first visited the town in 1871. One of Skagens Museum's most iconic paintings is his Skagens grå fyr (1869).[4]


  1. ^ a b c Henrik Bramsen, "Christian Blache", Kunstindeks Danmark & Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon. (in Danish) Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Christian Blache", Den Store Danske. (in Danish) Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Christian Blache", Dansk Biografisk Leksikon. (in Danish) Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  4. ^ Svanholm, Lise (2003). Skagenleksikon: malerne, modellerne, værkerne og stederne. Gyldendal A/S. pp. 27, 47, 57–. ISBN 978-87-02-01947-6.
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