National Gallery of Denmark

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Statens Museum for Kunst
SMK Entrance.jpg
Established 1896
Location Sølvgade 48
Copenhagen, Denmark
Type National gallery
Visitors 424,710 (2007)[1]
Director Mikkel Bogh[2]
Public transit access

Bus stop: 'Georg Brandes Plads, Parkmuseerne'

Bus lines: 6A, 14, 26, 40, 42, 43, 184, 185, 150S, 173 E

Train: S-tog and regional train to Østerport and Nørreport station

Metro: Nørreport station
Website http://www.smk.dk/en/

National Gallery of Denmark (Danish: Statens Museum for Kunst, also known as "SMK") is the Danish national gallery located in the centre of Copenhagen. Entrance to the museum's permanent collections is free.[3]

The museum collects, registers, maintains, researches and handles Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th century to the present day.

Collections[edit]

The museum's collections constitute almost 9,000 paintings and sculptures, approximately 240,000 works of art on paper as well as more than 2,600 plaster casts of figures from ancient times, the middle-ages and the Renaissance. The major part of the museum's older collections comes from the art chambers of Danish kings.

'In a Roman Osteria' by Carl Bloch, 1866

European Art 1300 - 1800[edit]

The exhibition of European Art 1300-1800 is a comprehensive collection of art over the 500 year period, featuring works by Mantegna, Cranach, Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt. The art is spread over thirteen rooms, and is the oldest art collection in Denmark, with a particular emphasis on Danish, Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, Spanish and German pieces.[4]

Danish and Nordic Art 1750 - 1900[edit]

Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900 studies Scandinavian art from the beginnings of Danish painting through the ‘Golden Age’ to the birth of Modernism. It displays over 400 works through 24 exhibition rooms. It features work by Abildgaard, Eckersberg, Købke, Ring, and Hammershøi.[5]

French Art 1900 - 1930[edit]

SMK gained its modern French art collection in 1928 when it was donated by the late collector Johannes Rump. This collection features some of the museum’s most famous pieces from artists such as Matisse, Piccasso, Derain and Braque. The collection was first offered to the SMK by Rump in 1923, but was rejected by the director Karl Madsen as he did not believe it to be of a high enough quality. [6]

Danish and International Art After 1900[edit]

Housed in the museum’s 1993 extension, this 20th and 21st century collection is predominantly focused on the most important examples of modern Danish art. A long corridor of paintings looking onto Østre Anlæg park works as a chronological overview of the work from this period, whilst the smaller galleries focus on specific artists or movements.[7]

The Royal Collection of Graphic Art[edit]

The Royal Collection of Graphic Art contains more than 240,000 works: copperprints, drawings, etchings, watercolours, lithographic works and other kinds of art on paper, dating from the 15th century to the present day. The beginnings of this collection were made around the time of Christian II. In his diary from 1521 the German painter Albrecht Dürer says he has given the King "the best pieces of all my prints".[8]

In 1843 the various works, which had so far been the king's private collection, were displayed to the public. It was then moved into the Statens Museum for Kunst when the first building was completed in 1896, along with The Royal Collection of Paintings and The Royal Cast Collection.[9]

Although the papers contain a great number of foreign works, Danish art constitutes the main part of the collection. This collection is open to the public through the Print Room, access to which must be booked in advance of arrival.[10]

The Royal Cast Collection[edit]

A window at the West India Warehouse

The Royal Cast Collection is held at the West India Warehouse, Toldbodgade 40, between The Little Mermaid and Nyhavn in Copenhagen. It consists of over 2,000 naked plaster casts of statues and reliefs from collections, museums, temples, churches, and public places throughout the world, from antiquity to the Renaissance. The art was first put on display in 1895 with the intention of edifying visitors about the progression of representations of the human form over time in parallel with growing social, political and aesthetic awareness in the Western world.[11]

At the start of the Second World War the art of antiquity became increasingly unfashionable, associated with an archaic artistic tradition. In 1966, as abstract art became more popular, the Royal Cast Collection was removed to a barn outside Copenhagen for storage and only revived in 1984 when it was removed to the West India Warehouse.[12]

History[edit]

Interior - Statens Museum for Kunst

The collections of the Danish National Gallery originate in the Art Chamber (Danish: Kunstkammeret) of the Danish monarchs. When the German Gerhard Morell became Keeper of Frederick V's Art Chamber about 1750, he suggested that the king create a separate collection of paintings. To ensure that the collection was not inferior to those of other European royal houses and local counts, the king made large-scale purchases of Italian, Netherlandish and German paintings. The collection became particularly well provided with Flemish and Dutch art. The most important purchase during Morell's term as keeper was Christ as the Suffering Redeemer by Andrea Mantegna. 'Det Kongelige Billedgalleri' (Royal Art Gallery) was housed in Christiansborg Palace until 1884 when the castle burnt down.[13] It was not until the opening of the museum in 1896 that the art had a new home.[14]

Since then a great variety of purchases have been made. During the 19th century the works were almost exclusively by Danish artists, and for this reason the Museum has an unrivalled collection of paintings from the so-called Danish Golden Age. That the country was able to produce pictures of high artistic quality was something new, and a consequence of the establishment of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1754.

The meeting of the old and new buildings

More recently, the collection has been influenced by generous donations and long-term loans. In 1928 Johannes Rump's large collection of early French Modernist paintings was donated to the Museum. This was followed by purchases of paintings and sculpture in the French tradition.[15]

Architecture[edit]

The original museum building was designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup and G.E.W. Møller and built 1889–1896 in a Historicist Italian Renaissance revival style.[16]

Towards the back of the museum is a large modern extension designed by the architects Anna Maria Indrio and Mads Møller from Arkitektfirmaet C. F. Møller. The extension was erected in 1998 to house the extensive modern art collection. The two buildings are connected by a glass panelled 'Street of Sculptures' walkway and theatre which stretches the entire length of the museum and looks out onto the Østre Anlæg park.[17] Talks, concerts and installations are all held in this area.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Danish) Attraktionsstatistikken 2007 - top50. 2008-04-25.
  2. ^ Bergløv, Emil. "På guidet tur med direktøren: Mikkel Bogh græder ikke over god kunst". Politiken. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Visiting Information". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. 
  4. ^ Pedersen, Eva de la Fluente; Rung, Mette Houlberg; Bernhardt, Nana. "European Art 1300-1800: About the Collection". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Holm, Henrik; Monrad, Kasper. "Danish and Nordic Art 1750 - 1900: About the Display". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Aagesen, Dorthe; Houlberg Rung, Mette. "French Art 1900 - 1930: Rump, Matisse and the French Collection". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Torp, Marianne; Dorthe, Aagesen; Larsen, Berit Anne. "Danish and International Art After 1900: About the Display". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Holm, Henrik. "About the collection of Graphic Art". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Holm, Henrik. "About the collection of Graphic Art". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Holm, Henrik. "About the collection of Graphic Art". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Holm, Henrik; Fridriksdottir, Ayoe. "The Royal Cast Collection: The History of the Cast Collection". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Holm, Henrik; Fridriksdottir, Ayoe. "The Royal Cast Collection: The History of the Cast Collection". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Villadsen, Villads (1998). Statens Museum for Kunst 1827 - 1952. Gyldendal. p. 13. ISBN 87-00-34756-6. 
  14. ^ Villadsen, Villads (1998). Statens Museum for Kunst 1827 - 1952. Gyldendal. p. 100. ISBN 87-00-34756-6. 
  15. ^ Top, Marianne; Aagesen, Dorthe; Larsen, Berhit Anne. "Danish and International art after 1900". SMK. Statens Museum for Kunst. 
  16. ^ Villadsen, Villads (1998). Statens Museum for Kunst 1827 - 1952. Gyldendal. p. 99. ISBN 87-00-34756-6. 
  17. ^ "National Gallery of Denmark - Extension". C. F Møller. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°41′20″N 12°34′43″E / 55.68889°N 12.57861°E / 55.68889; 12.57861