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date: 07 December 2019

Carstens, Asmus Jakoblocked

(b Sanct Gürgen, nr Schleswig, Denmark [now Germany], May 10, 1754; d Rome, May 2, 1798).
  • Peter Walch

Extract

(b Sanct Gürgen, nr Schleswig, Denmark [now Germany], May 10, 1754; d Rome, May 2, 1798).

Danish–German painter and draughtsman. Both Denmark and Germany claim him as their own in their national histories of art, but his greatest impact was on the international group of artists gathered in the last decade of the 18th century in Rome, where Carstens spent his last and most productive years. His severe Neo-classical drawing style and, to an even greater extent, his romantically charged commitment to art influenced such younger artists as Bertel Thorvaldsen and Joseph Anton Koch. Carstens’s life is excellently documented by Karl Ludwig Fernow, who knew the artist as a young man in Germany and was his closest friend during his mature years in Rome.

According to Fernow, Carstens spurned as too stifling an offered apprenticeship with Johann Heinrich Tischbein (i); instead he trained for five years as a cooper. In 1776 he began his fine arts studies at the Copenhagen Academy, where his masters included ...

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