A short biography of artist Baron Arild Rosenkrantz

A favourite in the College's art collection, Scottish Danish artist Baron Arild Rosenkrantz evades categorisation. Here, we offer a glimpse into his influences...

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

Many visitors to the College will recognise some of the paintings on our walls as the work of Baron Arild Rosenkrantz.

Arild Rosenkrantz was born in 1870 in Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark. He was the son of the Danish minister to Italy and Baroness Julia Mackenzie Rosenkrantz, an ardent Spiritualist who greatly influenced her creative son's spiritual life.

The colourful pastels and oils that Rosenkrantz is well-known for, were the result of his encounter with Rudolf Steiner in 1912. Rosenkrantz adapted his philosophy of anthroposophy which also incorporated German poet and scholar Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's colour theory.

Rosenkrantz felt he had a mission in carrying out Steiner's ideas of using the spectral colours in order to reach the invisible spiritual reality which lies behind the material. It was his wish that as many as possible should be able to experience this.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Rosenkrantz was settled in London and exhibited regularly in the UK at the Cooling Galleries. He advertised in the College's journal Light. The examples of Rosenkrantz's works that we have in our collection are from this period.

Celebrating his seventieth birthday in Denmark in 1940, Rosenkrantz was forced to remain because of the unexpected German occupation. He continued to work, spending his last years painting, lecturing and writing in his native country. He died in 1964, and for many years his artworks were not given the public acclaim that they deserved. This changed in 2021 with his first major museum show at the Arken Museum for Modern Art in Copenhagen, Denmark.

If you have any information on Baron Arild Rosenkrantz and his artworks or the mediumship of his mother Julia, we would love to hear from you. Please contact our Archivist Vivienne Roberts.

Featured images © The College of Psychic Studies

To receive our latest news, exhibitions, archive features, competitions and events, join our newsletter.