Emanuel von Baeyer

Pierrot and Two Dancers on a Swan. 1862

Hans Christian Andersen
1805 Odense – 1875 Copenhagen

Silhouette in green paper, mounted on an album sheet. 1862. Sheet size: 17 x 19 cm. Inscribed: ausgeschnitten von Andersen July 1862 (Cut out by Andersen July 1962).

Provenance: From an album of Friedrich Krüger, Hanseatic prime minister in Berlin

Hans Christian Andersen is best known as a prolific writer of fairy tales, but was also a gifted artist who, like some of his contemporaries such as Philipp Otto Runge and Victor Hugo, regarded the silhouette as an independent art form.

The art of the silhouette is closely connected to German Romantic art. Although most of Andersen´s subjects were invented and have a fairy tale character, they were not intended as illustrations for his writings, but were used as a kind of autobiographical cipher. In his writings Andersen employed the image of a dancing Pierrot and a swan as a pseudonym for himself. (see: Ackermann, p.118).

The most comprehensive collection of Andersen’s cutouts is kept at the H.C. Andersen Haus in Odense. There have only ever been few in private hands and they are today of great rarity.