World Record: The auction house made (art)history with the hammer price on a painting by “The Founding Father of the Danish Golden Age of Painting”, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg.
The bidders rose to the occasion at Bruun Rasmussen, when the masterpiece "Akvædukten i Arcueil" (The Aqueduct in Arcueil) from 1812 was sold at auction. After an intense bidding war, auctioneer Jesper Bruun Rasmussen let the hammer fall at DKK 5.6 million (€ 975,000 including buyer’s premium) – a price, which set a new world record for a painting by Eckersberg.
The lucky buyers came from The David Collection in Copenhagen, which already owns one of Eckersberg’s other rare views from Paris.
"The impressive hammer price makes perfect sense. The work is incredibly important, both for Eckersberg himself and for Danish art history in general. The painting is one of the beautiful views from Eckersberg’s stay in Paris, and it is the only one of its kind left on the auction market. It is fantastic that it will now reside alongside its twin sister at The David Collection," says Julie Arendse Voss, Head of the Fine Art Department at Bruun Rasmussen.
The new auction record comes on the heels of the Bruun Rasmussen auction in December 2019, where a Danish all-time auction record was set with the sale of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s painting "Interior, Strandgade 30" (1900). In this case, the hammer price settled on DKK 31.5 million (€ 5.5 million including buyer's premium).
A Rare Painting
C.W. Eckersberg was one of the greatest painters of the Danish Golden Age. He painted only a handful of views from Paris, where he studied during the early 1800s. Two of these views are today located at the National Gallery of Denmark, while The David Collection until Tuesday was the owner of one example. Eckersberg spent a good deal of time in the French capital looking for new motifs within the city and in the surrounding areas. The offered painting from 1812 depicts an aqueduct in Arcueil, which is located 5 kilometres south of Paris.
During Eckersberg’s time, Denmark was characterized by a flourishing intellectual and artistic life despite the major upheavals of the period, such as the bombardment of Copenhagen, the loss of the navy, the state bankruptcy and the relinquishment of Norway. The national spirit was in need of restoration, and this need formed the foundation for some of the finest works made in Danish art history, which the sold painting is also an eminent example of.
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.
In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, England, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions, the daily online auctions and - the latest edition - direct auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.