|Birth Day:||March 13, 1825|
|Death Date:||Aug 17, 1903 (age 78)|
As per our current Database, Hans Gude died on Aug 17, 1903 (age 78).
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He started his artistic career by taking private lessons from Johannes Flintoe and attending his classes at the Royal School of Drawing in Christiania.
Gude was born in Christiania in 1825 the son of Ove Gude, a judge, and Marie Elisabeth Brandt.
In 1827 Schirmer and Carl Friedrich Lessing founded a Society for Landscape Composition that would meet a few times each year at Schirmer's home where Schirmer would offer advice on the composition of landscape paintings. Fifteen years later Gude began attending the meetings of the society with other students from his class, but as he progressed to greater levels of realism Gude began to make it clear that he did not agree with the ideas of composition Schirmer put forward during the meetings, saying specifically:
Gude was finally accepted into the Academy in the autumn of 1842 and joined Schirmer's landscape painting class where he made quick progress. The landscape painting class at the Academy was new at the time, having been founded in 1839 as a counterpart to the more long standing figure painting class. At the time figure painting was considered a more prestigious genre than landscape painting as it was thought only through painting the human body could true beauty be expressed.
Gude served as a student teacher at the Academy until 1844, before leaving to live in Christiania. On July 25, 1850 Gude married Betsy Charlotte Juliane Anker (1830–1912), the daughter of General Erik Anker, in Christiania (today called Oslo).
In 1854 Gude was appointed the professor of landscape painting at the Academy replacing his former teacher Schirmer. Gude was twenty-nine when appointed, making him the youngest professor at the Academy. His appointment was partially political, in a conflict between Rhineland and Prussian interests Gude was seen as a neutral candidate because of his Norwegian roots. Gude was recommended for the position by the current Director of the Academy Wilhelm von Schadow, but only after Andreas Achenbach, Oswald Achenbach, and Lessing had refused the post due to lack of suitable pay. In regards to his position and compensation, Gude wrote:
Throughout his tenure, Gude had private pupils in addition to his normal classes. As a professor Gude taught six hours of class, held two hours of office hours, took turns with other professors supervising the nude drawing class and attended staff meetings. In 1857 Gude handed in his resignation, officially citing family considerations and failing health as his reasons for resigning, although in his memoirs he blamed opposition and backbiting from two of his pupils. The landscape painting professorship was the bottom of the pay scale at the Academy, and Gude was one of the few professors to be refused a raise when others received them in 1855. Others have suggested that Gude wished to leave the Academy for fear for becoming stuck in a rut artistically. Gude received better treatment from the Academy after he turned in his resignation, and it would take him a full five years to finally leave Düsseldorf. Although professors at the Academy complained that their teaching prevented them from undertaking more lucrative endeavors, Gude was able to sell enough works to afford a modest house in Düsseldorf which stood in what is now Hofgarten.
Gude reports that the British and Welsh landscape painters were disdainful of artists from the continent, and that they used a very different style of painting from the continental artists. Whereas Gude and fellow continental artists would go out in nature and make sketches to act as studies for studio works, the British and Welsh painters set up their easels in the field and worked on their paintings with their subjects in front of them. Gude attempted to improve his reputation among the local painters with exhibitions at the Royal Academy's spring shows in London in 1863 and 1864, but both were flops that Gude described as "useful but bitter medicine". Despite these setbacks – furthered by the strain the trip had put on Gude's finances due to lack of paintings being sold – Gude felt the trip was of great benefit to himself as an artist, writing to his brother-in-law Theodor Kjerulf:
In December 1863 Gude was offered and accepted a professorship at the Baden School of Art in Karlsruhe where he would once again succeed Schirmer, and so he left Wales. Gude was hesitant to take the position as he felt that it was working for the enemy but was unable to support himself in Norway due to the lack of an art school. He wrote about his thoughts on the position to Kjerulf, stating:
The school in Karlsruhe was founded by the Grand Duke of Baden whom Gude had good relations with. Because of this fact Gude received better pay than at the Düsseldorf Academy, had spacious and rent-free accommodations and was given generous periods of leave which allowed him to travel in the summer to perform studies for future paintings. Gude served as the director of Karlsruhe from 1866 to 1868 and again from 1869 to 1870, where he introduced several of his own educational principles designed to develop pupil's individual talent. But Gude's reign as director at Karlsruhe was not without resistance to his methods, and it is this opposition that he cites as his reason for visiting the Berlin Academy of Art that as early as 1874 in search of better conditions. Because of Gude's visits to Berlin, his relation with the Grand Duke became strained as the Grand Duke felt that the concessions he had made to Gude were so great that Gude should be grateful and not look for a professorships elsewhere. Gude remained at Karlsruhe for six more years after his first visits to the Berlin Academy of Art, but in 1880 he decided to retire from the Karlsruhe school to take up a position in Berlin.
In 1880 Gude accepted a position to lead the master studio in landscape painting at the Academy of Art in Berlin, a position which gave him a spot on the Academy's Senate. The Senate was responsible for upholding "all the artistic interests of the state" and membership was a mark of the highest official recognition of Gude's work.
In 1880 Gude had between five and eight students, but this number had shrunk to two or three by 1890. In part this reduction of pupils was due to a lack of interest in the Berlin academy, as explained to Gude by Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke who wrote that he, as well as numerous other young artists, had more of a taste for French art than German.
In 1895 the Christiania Art Society held a comprehensive retrospective of Gude's works including his paintings, oil studies, watercolors, sketches and etchings. When asked what should be shown at the exhibition Gude replied that "[...]perhaps room could be found for studies and drawings; I rather think that these will meet with interest. They are also (unfortunately) of greater artistic value." By the time of the exhibition Gude had abandoned his previous style of painting large-scale compositions based on studies, and was working in mediums other than oil. In Berlin Gude began working more heavily in gouache and watercolor in an effort to preserve the 'freshness' of his art. Although Gude did not heavily exhibit his watercolors they still gained admiration from follow painters, including Harriet Backer who said:
Gude retired from the Berlin Academy in 1901. He died two years later in Berlin in 1903.
As the century drew to a close the established art academies faced 'secession' movements from groups of artists looking to branch of into different style. Gude rallied around his friend Anton von Werner in defending the academies, going so far as to mock "the so-called Symbolism" movement. As Gude approached the end of his life he felt more and more unable to keep up with the changes in the art world. After a disappointing exhibition in Kristiania in 1902 Gude wrote to Johan Martin Nielssen:
Currently, Hans Gude is 196 years, 7 months and 5 days old. Hans Gude will celebrate 197th birthday on a Sunday 13th of March 2022.
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