Jens Lund Biography

Jens Lund




Painter, graphic artist, and designer Jens Martin Victor Lund was born on November 18, 1871, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the son of a cabintmaker for the Danish royal family. Orphaned at age sixteen along with his twin sister, Martine, depression rendered Lund unable to complete secondary school, and he left to take up an apprenticeship with painter Axel Hou beginning in 1886. He also studied forestry and law, but he would eventually abandon these pursuits in favor of a career in art. Lund married Ane Kirstine Bolette in 1893, and they lived with Martine in Ny Kongensgade.

In 1896, after further studies with the artist Jens Jensen-Egeberg, he traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Julian under Tony Robert-Fleury. There, he met fellow artists Rudolph Tegner, Johannes Holbek, and Niels Hansen Jacobson, all of whom were ardent students of Art Nouveau and Symbolism. Lund especially was interested in strong, nearly psychedelic images of natural phenomena and interpretations of the battle between good and evil, using contrasting colors or pure black and white. Beginning in the late 1890s Lund added graphic art to his repertoire, illustrating Georg Brand's three volume book on William Shakespeare, and he aprticipated in his first major exhibition at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1898. 

Lund published two works that he wrote and illustrated, Livets Skov (Forests of Life) and Forvanlede Blomster (Flowers of Transformation), both exhibited at the 1900 Paris World Fair and considered by COBRA founder Asger Jorn to be forerunners of Surrealism.

After completing his studies at the Academie he began to travel throughout Europe, especially between the years 1901 and 1910, painting and sketching as he went. He exhibited regularly, including a large solo exhibition of seventy-five watercolors at Den Frie in 1909. He regularly contributed to The Studio magazine and In 1921 he become president of the Danish Graphic Arts Society, a post he held until his death in 1924.

A complete timeline of Lund's activities can be found on the Vejenkunstmuseum's website.