An Avenue in Kastrup, 1892
Oil on canvas, 55.5 x 82.5 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, KMS4776
The scene was painted on a sunny autumn day of clear blue skies and fluffy clouds drifting speedily by. A muddy road edged by tall trees leads our gaze towards the town in the middle ground. Like many French impressionists, Philipsen too let a flock of chicken loose in the foreground. The short, saturated brushstrokes make the picture vibrate with light, colour, and atmosphere. Even so, Philipsen is not an impressionist in the French sense of the term. "Modern Life" held no interest for him. In his paintings he almost turns his back on it in favour of the simple country life, often rendered in scenes where the landscapes are exclusively 'peopled' with cattle, horses, and chickens, perhaps accompanied by a milkmaid, usually with her back turned to us. Philipsen preferred the company of animals over that of people. Animals were never deceitful. When he drew near to town in his art, he remained on the outskirts, observing it from a distance.
Philipsen is one of the most widely travelled and widely knowledgeable Danish artists, but when in Denmark he preferred Kastrup on Amager just outside Copenhagen. From here he could sail to the small island of Saltholm in the Sound between Copenhagen and Malmö where the animals from the Amager farms were ferried over to roam in summer.