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Hans Anderson Brendekilde's A Wooded Path In Autumn, most likely painted around the turn of the twentieth century, is a lush, verdant, and visually stunning work of technical skill from the Danish social realist painter. Emerging from humble origins, Brendekilde's rural upbringing would pervade his life's work with the curious dimensionality and signal the presence of an artist with an intimate knowledge of his surroundings. Managing to secure an apprenticeship with a sculptor while still a young man, the indefatigable Brendekilde eventually studied sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen where he befriended the pre-eminent Danish painter L. A. Ring. Originally sharing the same surname, the pair whose style was so strikingly similar, decided to adopt the name of their home villages as their respective noms des plume. Brendekilde's early work featured figurative reproductions of rural working-class life depicted in the social realist style. Yet, gradually, perhaps responding to commissions or meeting the needs of a small market, Brendekilde began painting more idealized, spiritual, and distant visions of the village proletariat.
A Wooded Path In Autumn is a remarkably dynamic, dimensional work with a strange sense of depth, conjured no doubt by the vortex-like shape formed by the interaction between the tree and the bed of leaves. Without doubt the work of an artist trained in sculpture, A Wooded Path In Autumn is a reproduction of a moment unfolding in time. His peculiar talent for expressive color ranges and intimate explorations of man's place within nature is emblematic of a nation rapidly changing and attempting to focus on the needs of both its rural folk and urban masses. Brendekilde's social realism is therefore one that acknowledges the shifting demands of classed society.