Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts, Trompe l'oeil The Reverse of a Framed Painting, 1668-1672, SMK

In the exhibition you could explore a selection of SMK's greatest masterpieces of European art from 1300 to 1800 and join us on a journey where we focussed on how artists have always crossed great distances in their quest for inspiration and new ideas.

Artists have always been adventurous, travelling out into the world in order to get new ideas and inspire others. The exhibition explored how artists crossed great distances during the years 1300 to 1800 – driven first by necessity, then by an urge for adventure.

Across national borders
The crusades of the Middle Ages forced Greek artists to leave their homes and journey west in search of work. This marked the beginning of cultural exchanges, friendships and artist communities that cut across national borders. Later, adventurous artists also ventured out into other countries. Wherever they came they absorbed new skills, knowledge, inspiration and ideas while also influencing artists in the countries they visited.

500 years of art
In the exhibition you could delve into five centuries of Western European art and learn about the aspects that caught the eye of Northern European artists in southern climes. Furthermore you could also meet one of the few artists who went north rather than south: the Flemish trompe l’oeil artist Corbelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts. A painter whose realistic work fooled the eye to create compellingly realistic illusions.

Practical information

Exhibition period
12 August – 26 November 2017 

Opening hours
Tuesdays – Sundays 11–17
Wednesdays 11–20
Mondays closed

Admission fee
Adults: DKK 110
Under 30: DKK 85
Under 18: Free
1 adult + 1 child: DKK 90
Annual pass holders: Free

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Detail of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Matthaeus Yrsselius (1541-1629), Abbot of Sint-Michiel's Abbey in Antwerp, c. 1624

European masterpieces

Andrea Mantegna, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Corbelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts, Jacob Jordaens, Rembrandt van Rijn and many more. 

The titans of art history come together in this exhibition. Immerse yourself in masterpieces of Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, Spanish and German art that will take you on a journey through the Renaissance and the Baroque.

Highlights from the permanent exhibition

Storing art requires excellent air quality and a superior indoor climate. To ensure this, SMK has launched a major overhaul of the Museum’s technical installations in 2017. This will ensure that our art can continue to be stored under optimum conditions – all while addressing environmental concerns.

This autumn, the museum’s permanent display of European Art 1300–1800 is temporarily closed to facilitate the installation of a new, environmentally friendly climate control system that will help us preserve our art. In the meantime, you can enjoy the exhibition Crossing Borders.

Detail of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), The Judgement of Solomon, c. 1617 

Detail of Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts (c. 1610- after 1675), Trompe l'oeil. Board Partition with Letter Rack and Music Book, 1668

Udsnit af Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Study of an Old Man in Profile, c. 1630


Concerts, guided tours and SMK Fridays.

Visiting information

Visiting information

Find all the information you need to prepare your visit.

Detail of Theodoor Rombouts, Card and Backgammon Players. Fight over Cards, c. 1620-30