Jens Ferdinand Willumsen


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(b Copenhagen, 7 Sept. 1863; d Cannes, 4 Apr. 1958).

Danish painter, sculptor, architect, engraver, potter, and collector. In 1888–9 he visited Paris, and he lived in France from 1890 to 1894, abandoning his early naturalistic style under the impact of Gauguin (whom he met in Brittany) and Symbolism. His work became highly individual, notable for its obscure and disturbing subject matter and glaringly bright colours (After the Tempest, 1905, NG, Oslo). His sculpture is often polychromatic, using mixed media, showing the influence of Klinger. Willumsen was also influenced by El Greco, on whom he wrote a long book (2 vols., 1927). He was one of the leading personalities of his time in Danish art, idolized as a genius by his admirers, but decried by others. There is a museum devoted to him at Frederikssund, near Copenhagen.

Subjects: Art.

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