A visitor in front of the painting In a Roman Osteria by Carl Bloch

© SMK på Flickr: Image uploaded by Lotte Grønkjær.

Themes in Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900

The new display is generally chronological. However, at the same time, the most recent research is also featured, which includes the artists and works that break tradition. These contemporary views challenge and disturb past discussions.

The main story and the disruptive undercurrent
Beneath the overall French-inspired main story: Juel, Eckersberg, sketches, folk painting, naturalism, Philipsen, Skagen and Fynboerne, there is an underlining story that can be described as the romantic-idealistic undercurrent. You can meet this undercurrent in both thematic rooms and disruptive elements underway.

Constantin Hansen: A Group of Danish Artists in Rome, 1837

Dialogue with Europe
Why travel as an artist? To be inspired and go home? - Or to get established and become known? And what does one experience abroad and how? Taking in only what you'd expect to see? - Or, do you meet the world with an open mind?

In two large rooms, we focus on travel as a motif and metaphor. Here you can meet the Golden Age artists who saw themselves as the opposite of ordinary tourists, but largely followed the contemporary tourist route through Europe. At the same time, the displayed paintings are from a more heterogeneous group of artists who were much more interested in entering into a dialogue with the reality they encountered abroad.


Joakim Skovgaard (1856-1933), Christ in the Realm of the Dead, 1891-94. KMS3141

Joachim Skovgaard, Christ in the Realm of the Dead, 1891-94

The Body in Art 1800-1900
Through 100 years we follow how artists have depicted the human body. From Neo-Classicism and the Golden Age with romantic perceptions of the ideal body to Symbolism with its highly sensuous and tortured body. This is a walk through both the art history of the 19th century and the cultural and historical context.

Romanticism and the Golden Age artists believe in a harmonious and orderly, God-given world view that is expressed in human character's ideal proportions. At the opposite end of the century, we meet the godforsaken man who, left to fend for himself and his own mortality, stands as a symbolic husk and tormented body.


Ditlev Blunck: Youth. From the series: The Four Ages of Man, 1840-1845

Gender in Art
The standards for gender in art are challenged and broken in the second half of the 19th century. Art history is based on the myth of the free, creative genius- a role women have traditionally not had the opportunity to take on. Women's position in art history has typically been the muse, aesthetic subject matter or erotic object.

Fortunately, however, there are also other stories to tell about gender, about women artists, eroticized men and masculine women. We show examples of works and artists who break away from gender norms in different ways.

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Updated: 26.apr.2018
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