Room 225

The Symbolist Breakthrough

Danish and Nordic Art 1880-1910

Jan Verkade, Selvportræt, 1891-94.

Gad Frederik Clement, Breton Landscape with girl sitting down, 1892

The 1880s’ faith in progress and celebration of all that could be measured was gradually replaced by a more introvert, imagination-fuelled art that emphasised atmosphere and symbolism. For some artists this reversal entailed a religious awakening, a penchant for Catholicism, and a vein of art that celebrated beauty and the visions of the soul through undulating arabesques and harmonious shapes.

Between Realims and Symbolism

With the poet Johannes Jørgensen as standard-bearer, the movement experienced a brief, but significant flourishing period in the mid-1890s, centring on the artists Mogens Ballin, Jan Verkade, and Gad Frederik Clement. Most artists, however, still swore by a more naturalistic type of art imbued with a distinct atmosphere, such as Albert Gottschalk, Prins Eugen, and Johan Rohde – or Laurits Andersen Ring and Vilhelm Hammershøi (rooms 227-228), who developed a distinctive vein of Symbolism firmly rooted in reality.

Thorvald Niss, Solsikker på en strand, 1893

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Updated: 26.apr.2018
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