The Symbolist Breakthrough
Danish and Nordic Art 1880-1910
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.