Exhibition period: 12 October 2012 - 17 March 2013 | The Royal Collection of Graphic Art

What happens in those special moments where we look at a detail? What do we do when we look at things up close, and what “unforeseen” reward are we looking for?
– After Daniel Arasse

The exhibition homes in on details in art. How do details affect our understanding of a picture? And how have artists worked with details through the ages?

What happens when we focus on the details?

When we regard a picture from a distance the overall image is clear, but what happens if you move in close, focusing on details instead? The closer you get to a picture, the less of it you see. If you want to see details you lose sight of the totality.

Throughout history details have also been used to add meaning to the image – which means that we can look for keys to understanding a picture in its details.


The function and status of details

The exhibition presents an art theoretical analysis of the function and status of details in art from the 18th century to the 1930s. The exhibition presents works by e.g. Vilhelm Hammershøi, Christen Købke, Jens Juel, Caspar David Friedrich, Richard Mortensen, and Franciska Clausen.


Paintings, prints, and architectural drawings

The exhibition focuses on drawings but also includes paintings, prints, and architectural drawings. The drawings mainly come from the Royal Collection of Graphic Art, the Gallery’s vast collection of art on paper. The collection comprises more than 240,000 works dating from the 15th century to the present day.