Albert Gottschalk found many of his motifs in what was at the time the outskirts of Copenhagen. Here, he painted a scene from Utterslev north of Copenhagen on a clear and frosty day. The foreground is shaded, but in the middle distance and between the trees we sense the strong sunlight that makes the snow luminous.
As an open-air painter, Gottschalk finished his paintings on-site, usually completing them in a single sitting or as an unbroken process. Indeed, the picture has been painted with rapid, broad brushstrokes, and as in Impressionistic depictions of a single moment, the pure colours have been dragged into the shaded areas.
Gottschalk's Impressionistic endeavour
Within the Danish art scene of the decades preceding 1900, only Theodor Philipsen (1840-1920) and Anna Ancher (1859-1935) can be said to consistently use an Impressionistic touch in larger groups of work. Nevertheless, a number of Gottschalk’s works also evince this endeavour to let painting be about the purely painterly, about light and colour made palpable.
A naturalistic style of atmospheric painting
However, the main impression conveyed by his art is similar to e.g. the art of P.S. Krøyer (1851-1909) insofar as it is a primarily naturalistic style of atmospheric painting where Impressionistic elements will occasionally be employed in order to depict the chosen subject matter as realistically as possible.