The Reluctant Educator and Revered Artist, Emil Carlsen


Outside The Lines

Study in Gray

The work of Emil Carlsen is respected, revered and praised. Known as one of the greatest American landscape and still life artists, Carlsen is said to have mastered the art of painting.

In his book about American still life painting, Painters of Humble Truth, William Gerdts discloses what he believes is the secret behind Carlsen’s talent. “What makes the painting beautiful,” Gerdts’ writes, “is Carlsen’s sensitivity to arrangement – large shapes are juxtaposed with small flat forms and tall ones, their outlines are often united in refined harmonious curves.”

Another art historian, Richard Boyle recounts Carlsen’s approach to still life. “His paintings are beautifully crafted and delicate of surface,” he says. “He was concerned with ‘ideal beauty,’ as well as the beauty inherent in the subject.”

Emil Carlsen created natural flowing designs that were complimented by his use of atmospheric light. He also had a keen sense…

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