1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abildgaard, Nikolaj Abraham
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ABILDGAARD, NIKOLAJ ABRAHAM (1744–1809), called “the Father of Danish Painting,” was born at Copenhagen, the son of Sören Abildgaard, an antiquarian draughtsman of repute. He formed his style on that of Claude and of Nicolas Poussin, and was a cold theorist, inspired not by nature but by art. As a technical painter he attained remarkable success, his tone being very harmonious and even, but the effect, to a foreigner’s eye, is rarely interesting. His works are scarcely known out of Copenhagen, where he won an immense fame in his own generation. He was the founder of the Danish school of painting, and the master of Thorwaldsen and Eckersberg.