Appreciating Art in Copenhagen’s National Gallery Part Two: The Danish Collection

Danish Golden Age 

The art historian/critic and professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Niels Lauritz Høyen, became the curator of the royal collections in 1839. He used his power and influence to buy Danish art.  He was instrumental, therefore, in the creating the fine collection of works by CW Eckersberg and his followers.

That Denmark was able to produce such good quality works is partly thanks to the establishment of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1754.  Funnily enough, it was set up as a ‘gift’ to King Frederik V – yes, he who wasn’t that interested in art but collected anyway.  One of the most important figures at the Academy was Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, who taught there from 1818-1853, and was therefore a massive influence on the next generation: he taught most of the leading artists of what became known as the Golden Age.

Since most of the art produced in this period has actually remained in Denmark, the painters aren’t that well known elsewhere.  I was really taken by the realism, and also by the stylishness of the paintings.  I’m not generally that keen on 19th century art, but the Danish artists seem to use the generic artistic styles fashionable elsewhere, while making them elegant, thoughtful and personal.

I thought I’d be a bit organised and go through the Danish artists that I particularly liked.

Jens Juel (1745-1802)

Seen as the leading 18th century Danish painter, Juel trained in Rome and Paris, and spent some time in Geneva, where his reputation as a portraitist led to a successful two years in that city.  When he returned to Denmark he continued to paint portraits of the local well-to-do (he was made court painter) but he also had a nice line in landscapes and genre pictures.

Self-Portrait with Portfolio, 1773/4, Jens Juel, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Self-Portrait with Portfolio, 1773/4, Jens Juel, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a woman in a swing from The Dancing Glade at Sorgenfri, north of Copenhagen, 1800, Jens Juel, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a woman in a swing from The Dancing Glade at Sorgenfri, north of Copenhagen, 1800, Jens Juel, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a picnic table from The Dancing Glade at Sorgenfri, north of Copenhagen, 1800, Jens Juel, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a picnic table from The Dancing Glade at Sorgenfri, north of Copenhagen, 1800, Jens Juel, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853)

Eckersberg is known as the father of Danish painting.  He was accepted at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and studied under Jacques-Louis David in Paris in 1811/2.  He also lived in Rome for three years with other Danish artists, including Bertel Thorvaldsen, who became a loyal friend.

He married the daughter of Jens Juel when he arrived back in Denmark, and was made a professor at the Academy in 1818.  Through his own experiences during his travels, he undertood the importance of taking students out to do studies from nature.  He was also a good teacher because he encouraged his students to develop in their own ways, encouraging their own unique styles.

On a completely irrelevant note: when his wife died, he married her sister.  He had children with both.  Christmas must have been interesting.

Self-Portrait, 1811, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Self-Portrait, 1811, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sailing from Copenhagen to Charlottenlund, 1824, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  After 1820 maritime scenes became Eckersberg's favourite subject. This painting shows people on a boat, doing the popular 10km trip to Charlottenlund.  The first Danish steamer, the Caledonia, can be seen in the background. The circular shape may be because Eckersberg looked at the scene through a telescope.

Sailing from Copenhagen to Charlottenlund, 1824, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  After 1820 maritime scenes became Eckersberg’s favourite subject. This painting shows people on a boat, doing the popular 10km trip to Charlottenlund.  The first Danish steamer, the Caledonia, can be seen in the background. The circular shape may be because Eckersberg looked at the scene through a telescope.

Detail of Sailing from Copenhagen to Charlottenlund, 1824, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of Sailing from Copenhagen to Charlottenlund, 1824, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Nathanson Family, 1818, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The merchant Mendel Levin Nathanson and his wife are shown being greeted by their eight children after their audience with the Queen. Nathanson was a patron of Danish art and culture, and was involved in the integration of Jews in Denmark.  From 1812 to 1820 he was Eckersberg's most important patron.

The Nathanson Family, 1818, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The merchant Mendel Levin Nathanson and his wife are shown being greeted by their eight children after their audience with the Queen. Nathanson was a patron of Danish art and culture, and was involved in the integration of Jews in Denmark.  From 1812 to 1820 he was Eckersberg’s most important patron.

Detail of the cute shoes of The Nathanson Family, 1818, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the cute shoes of The Nathanson Family, 1818, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A View from the Chateau of Meudon near Paris, 1813, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A View from the Chateau of Meudon near Paris, 1813, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of people playing diabolo, from A View from the Chateau of Meudon near Paris, 1813, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of people playing diabolo, from A View from the Chateau of Meudon near Paris, 1813, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Langebro, Copenhagen, in the Moonlight with Running Figures, 1836, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The painting may have been influenced by Carl Bernhardt's novel "The Coach" from the same year, where a woman is saved from a suicide attempt on Langebro.  The painting is small and very hypnotic.

Langebro, Copenhagen, in the Moonlight with Running Figures, 1836, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  The painting may have been influenced by Carl Bernhardt’s novel “The Coach” from the same year, where a woman is saved from a suicide attempt on Langebro.  The painting is small and very hypnotic.

Detail of Langebro, Copenhagen, in the Moonlight with Running Figures, 1836, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of Langebro, Copenhagen, in the Moonlight with Running Figures, 1836, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Wilhelm Bendz (1804–1832)

Bendz was considered to be one of the most talented painters of his generation – but he sadly died at the age of 28.  He specialised in portraits and genre works, and from what I saw at the SMK and online, he had a really cool eye for composition, as well as having a nice line in adding interesting cultural details to his works, which makes them fun to explore.
The Waagepetersen Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Waagepetersen was the royal wine merchant and a patron of the arts, who also was interested in the sciences - he donated a fully equipped chemical laboratory to the College of Advanced Technology.  He also liked music: three of his sons got saddled with the names Heyden, Mozart and Bethoven.

The Waagepetersen Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Waagepetersen was the royal wine merchant and a patron of the arts, who also was interested in the sciences – he donated a fully equipped chemical laboratory to the College of Advanced Technology.  He also liked music: three of his sons got saddled with the names Heyden, Mozart and Bethoven.

Detail of The Waagepetersen Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of The Waagepetersen Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of Mr Waggepetersen's amazingly messy desk from The Waagepetersen Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of Mr Waggepetersen’s amazingly messy desk from The Waagepetersen Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Raffenberg Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Raffenberg Family, 1830, Wilhelm Bendz, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christen Købke (1810–1848)

Købke was an artist who benefited from Eckersberg’s influence at the Academy.  He was also influenced by the art historian Niels Lauritz Høyen, who called on young artists to show Danish life.  He travelled to Italy and spent time in Rome with other Danish artists.

It’s sad that Købke also died young – he was admired by his contemporaries but didn’t have as much success as some of the others.

Self-Portrait, c1833, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Self-Portrait, c1833, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Portrait of the Artist's Sister, Cecilie Margrethe Petersen, 1835, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Portrait of the Artist’s Sister, Cecilie Margrethe Petersen, 1835, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

View from the Loft of the Grain Store at the Bakery in the Citadel of Copenhagen, 1831, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

View from the Loft of the Grain Store at the Bakery in the Citadel of Copenhagen, 1831, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of View from the Loft of the Grain Store at the Bakery in the Citadel of Copenhagen, 1831, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of View from the Loft of the Grain Store at the Bakery in the Citadel of Copenhagen, 1831, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Painter CW Eckersberg's Son Julius in his Father's Studio, 1831, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Painter CW Eckersberg’s Son Julius in his Father’s Studio, 1831, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A View from Dosseringen near the Sortedam Lake Looking Towards Nørrebro, 1838, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  A view near Købke's home. The Prussian blue has faded, so the sky is lighter and the lake is redder than intended.

A View from Dosseringen near the Sortedam Lake Looking Towards Nørrebro, 1838, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  A view near Købke’s home. The Prussian blue has faded, so the sky is lighter and the lake is redder than intended.

Detail of Morning View of Østerbro outside Copenhagen, 1836, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of Morning View of Østerbro outside Copenhagen, 1836, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Garden Steps Leading to the Artist's Studio on Blegdammen, c1845, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Garden Steps Leading to the Artist’s Studio on Blegdammen, c1845, Christen Købke, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Wilhelm Marstrand (1810–1873)

Encouraged by Eckersberg to study at the Academy, Marstrand also travelled to Italy, where he spent four years.  On his return to Denmark, he became a professor at the Academy, where he, like his teacher, encouraged individuality in his pupils – one of whom was Carl Bloch, whose pictures are coming up.

Marstrand is also unique in that he left a diverse oeuvre, including historical, religious and genre scenes as well as portraits.  He also painted grand scenes in Roskilde Cathedral and the Celebration Hall of the University of Copenhagen.

The Waagepetersen Family, 1836, Wilhelm Marstrand, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Waagepetersen Family, 1836, Wilhelm Marstrand, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the children and their pursuits, in The Waagepetersen Family, 1836, Wilhelm Marstrand, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the children and their pursuits, in The Waagepetersen Family, 1836, Wilhelm Marstrand, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Martinus Rørbye (1803-1848)

One of Eckersberg’s favourite pupils, Rørbye travelled widely, visiting remote areas of Norway and Jutland, as well as having the inevitable stay in Rome.  He even travelled to Constantinople, which was a rather unusual destination.

The Prison of Copenhagen, 1831, Martinus Rørbye, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  In the background, a young man is asking an older moneylender for a loan, while another points to the debtors' prison behind him.

The Prison of Copenhagen, 1831, Martinus Rørbye, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  In the background, a young man is asking an older moneylender for a loan, while another points to the debtors’ prison behind him.

View from the Artist's Window, c1825, Martinus Rørbye, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

View from the Artist’s Window, c1825, Martinus Rørbye, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of View from the Artist's Window, c1825, Martinus Rørbye, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of View from the Artist’s Window, c1825, Martinus Rørbye, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christian Albrecht Jensen (1792-1879)

Despite having considerable commercial success early on in his career, Jensen was not popular with critics or the Academy.  This ended up by having an impact on his career, and when he was unable to get commissions, he worked as an assistant at the Royal Print collection.

Johannes Søbøtker Hohlenberg, 1826, Christian Albrecht Jensen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Hohlenberg was in charge of the Trading Station in Serampore near Calcutta.  His wife's picture is below.

Johannes Søbøtker Hohlenberg, 1826, Christian Albrecht Jensen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Hohlenberg was in charge of the Trading Station in Serampore near Calcutta.  His wife’s picture is below.

Birgitte Søbøtker Hohlenberg, 1826, Christian Albrecht Jensen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Birgitte Søbøtker Hohlenberg, 1826, Christian Albrecht Jensen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Julius Exner (1825-1910)

The son of a Czech musician, Exner became a popular genre painter, having studied with Eckersberg at the Danish Academy.  He was particularly interested in Danish themes and travelled around the country doing live studies from nature in the summer – and polishing the paintings up in the comfort of his studio in winter.  The painting “A Gondola” was painted during his two year study trip to Italy.

A Gondola, 1859, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A Gondola, 1859, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of A Gondola, 1859, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of A Gondola, 1859, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Visiting Grandfather, 1853, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Visiting Grandfather, 1853, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the anxious girl Visiting Grandfather, 1853, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the anxious girl Visiting Grandfather, 1853, Julius Exner, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Carl Bloch (1834-1890)

Bloch’s parents wanted him to join the Navy: but no.  He went and studied at the Danish Academy under Marstrand, before travelling to Holland – becoming influenced by Rembrandt – and then to Italy – where he met his wife.  They had eight children.

Bloch is most famous for his 23 scenes from the life of Christ, for the King’s Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace – apparently the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints have been using these works in their media for over forty years.

Anyway the painting that particularly fascinated me was of a scene from a Roman osteria.  Half amused, half threatened, the Roman man turns away from his two lady friends and glares at us.  It’s probably good that he can’t now see the very coquettish way the two ‘ladies’ are looking at us.

It’s also very disconcerting to have a glaring cat.

In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the Romans In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the Romans In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

IMG_8504

Detail of three north European men In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of flies and lettuce, In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of flies and lettuce, In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

IMG_8506

Detail of the Roman In a Roman Osteria, 1866, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

After the Bath. A Young Girl Knocking at the Fisherman's Window, 1884, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

After the Bath. A Young Girl Knocking at the Fisherman’s Window, 1884, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Still Life with Fish, 1878, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Still Life with Fish, 1878, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

IMG_8508

Detail of wide-eyed wonder in Still Life with Fish, 1878, Carl Bloch, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Village Carpenter Bringing a Coffin for a Dead Child, 1857, Christen Dalsgaard, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Village Carpenter Bringing a Coffin for a Dead Child, 1857, Christen Dalsgaard, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of The Village Carpenter Bringing a Coffin for a Dead Child, 1857, Christen Dalsgaard,  National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  I feel a bit heartless, but I was particularly taken by the colourful yarn in the basket and the little painted box on the table.

Detail of The Village Carpenter Bringing a Coffin for a Dead Child, 1857, Christen Dalsgaard,  National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  I feel a bit heartless, but I was particularly taken by the colourful yarn in the basket and the little painted box on the table.

A Jutland Shepherd on the Moors, 1855, Frederik Vermehren, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A Jutland Shepherd on the Moors, 1855, Frederik Vermehren, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the knitting of A Jutland Shepherd on the Moors, 1855, Frederik Vermehren, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the knitting of A Jutland Shepherd on the Moors, 1855, Frederik Vermehren, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916)

Studying at the Danish Academy, Hammershøi is perhaps one of the better known of Danish painters outside Denmark – I’ve certainly been a fan since going to an exhibition of his works at the Royal Academy in London.  He has a very distinctive style, using muted colours and painting slightly mournful interiors.  His paintings are melancholic, a bit mysterious – but invariably elegant.

Portrait of Ida Ilsted, later the artist's wife, 1890, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Portrait of Ida Ilsted, later the artist’s wife, 1890, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark 

Evening in the Drawing Room: The Artist's Mother and Wife, 1891, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Evening in the Drawing Room: The Artist’s Mother and Wife, 1891, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ida, the artist's wife, with a teacup, 1907, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ida, the artist’s wife, with a teacup, 1907, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Interior in Strandgade, Sunlight on the Floor, 1901, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Interior in Strandgade, Sunlight on the Floor, 1901, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen, 1896, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen, 1896, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the statue of Frederik V in Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen, 1896, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the statue of Frederik V in Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen, 1896, Vilhelm Hammershøi, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Erik Henningsen (1855-1930)

Another graduate of the Danish Academy, Hennigsen was particularly committed to showing the miserable conditions that people lived in.  He was part of a group, Bogstaveligheden, which wanted to create a better society and his paintings of the 1880s and 1890s show scenes of unemployment, exploited workers and the misery endured by women, children and the elderly.  At the same time, he showed lighter aspects of life in his paintings of Copenhagen’s street life.

Henningsen’s repertoire included historical paintings and he also worked as an illustrator of magazines and posters.

Changing of the Guard, 1888, Erik Henningsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Changing of the Guard, 1888, Erik Henningsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Evicted Tenants, 1892, Erik Henningsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Evicted Tenants, 1892, Erik Henningsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Wilhelm Freddie (1909-1995)

The final individual painter that interested me is perhaps the weirdest.  Freddie (real name Christian Frederik Wilhelm Carlsen) experimented with various artistic styles before finding his niche in creating surreal art – with a penchant for the controversial.  His exhibition in 1937, curiously named, “Sex Surreal: Take the Fork out of the Butterfly’s Eye”, was labelled as pornographic and the police closed the show, confiscated three works, and threw Freddie in jail for ten days.  The paintings were subsequently placed in the Police Museum of Copenhagen – so on display – until they were returned to Freddie in 1963.

I found the paintings on display in the museum interesting in showing Freddie’s range – he wasn’t just a pornographic artist, after all.

Young Man and Woman Reading in a Book at a Round Table in a Garden, 1929-36, Wilhelm Freddie, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Young Man and Woman Reading in a Book at a Round Table in a Garden, 1929-36, Wilhelm Freddie, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Day D, 1944, Wilhelm Freddie, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Day D, 1944, Wilhelm Freddie, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sensual Interior, 1936, Wilhelm Freddie, oil on mixed media, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sensual Interior, 1936, Wilhelm Freddie, oil on mixed media, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Some Randoms

Family portrait, 1828, Emil Bærentzen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Family portrait, 1828, Emil Bærentzen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A Blind Girl Reading, 1905, Ejnar Nielsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

A Blind Girl Reading, 1905, Ejnar Nielsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the braille book from A Blind Girl Reading, 1905, Ejnar Nielsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of the braille book from A Blind Girl Reading, 1905, Ejnar Nielsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Seamstress, 1880, Christian Krohg (1852-1925), Norwegian; National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Seamstress, 1880, Christian Krohg (1852-1925), Norwegian; National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Waiting for the Train, Level Crossing by Roskilde Highway, 1914, Laurits Andersen Ring, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Waiting for the Train, Level Crossing by Roskilde Highway, 1914, Laurits Andersen Ring, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Iron Foundry, Burmeister & Wain, 1888, Peder Severin Krøyer, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Iron Foundry, Burmeister & Wain, 1888, Peder Severin Krøyer, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Rose Laying the Table, 1914, Astrid Holm, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Created on a journey to a Danish colony in the West Indies.

Rose Laying the Table, 1914, Astrid Holm, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Created on a journey to a Danish colony in the West Indies.

Detail of a pineapple in Rose Laying the Table, 1914, Astrid Holm, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Detail of a pineapple in Rose Laying the Table, 1914, Astrid Holm, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Overturned Drawer, 1931-2, Rita Kernn-Larsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Overturned Drawer, 1931-2, Rita Kernn-Larsen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Zeus and Hera on Mount Ida, 1932, Richard Mortensen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Zeus and Hera on Mount Ida, 1932, Richard Mortensen, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

So In Summary

The Danish National Gallery was a joy.  It was an eye-opening and illuminating experience.  It felt like a new world of artists was opened up to me, and that doesn’t happen very often.  Anyone who likes to look at paintings, regardless of whether they are known names, will, I’m sure, find something to enjoy in this eclectic and very fine collection.

Further Information

The museum has a great little website, with all the usual information available in English (as well as other major European languages – yes, they’re that wonderful): www.smk.dk – but they also have biographies of artists and excellent entries about their paintings.  Really worth exploring.

There are regular exhibitions held at the museum, including on contemporary art, and they have workshops for adults as well as children.

How to Get There

The museum is centrally located in Copenhagen but for specific to/from information, the Danish transport site is available in English and is easy to navigate: www.rejseplanen.dk

 

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