About the Danish Golden Age
The importance of The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
A new epoch in Danish art was ushered in with the establishment of The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1754 and the inauguration of the first Danish professors around 1780. Until then, Danish artists could be counted on the fingers of one hand - in the 1820s the art market was flourishing and a profusion of new artists opened up untrodden paths. Instead of working for the king and the nobility, artists began increasingly to concentrate on the new-rich middle-class. This gave artists more possibilities, and new motifs from the world of the middle class and the artists’ own lives replaced the symbolic and idealized worlds of history painting.
C.W. Eckersberg and the Danish Golden Age
Danish art experienced its first real heyday at the beginning of the 19th century, when painter Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg laid the foundations of Danish Golden Age art (c. 1815-50) and created a proper Danish school of art. Talented young painters like Christen Købke and Johan Thomas Lundbye helped to raise Danish art to an international level. The close study of nature was put high on the agenda, and despite marked stylistic changes after 1850, painters remained faithful to the meticulous depiction of nature right up to the end of the century.
In the years after 1880, painters like L. A. Ring and Theodor Philipsen created a new departure in art, and they were among the most notable representatives of Naturalism and Impressionism in Denmark.