Exhibition of 19th and early 20th century Danish masterworks on view at Scandinavia House

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, May 20, 2024

Exhibition of 19th and early 20th century Danish masterworks on view at Scandinavia House
Harald Slott-Møller (1864 – 1937), Summer Day, 1888. Oil on canvas, 48 ½ x 70 in (123 x 178 cm). Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.

NEW YORK, NY.- Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough: Selections from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr., an exhibition of masterworks by leading Danish painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries, opened at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, in New York City, in October. The selection of 37 works traces key developments in Danish painting from the late neoclassical, to the romantic, to the early modern eras—a period of unprecedented artistic creativity that saw the emergence of a distinctive national school of Danish painting.

Organized by The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF), the exhibition is drawn exclusively from the private collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr., regarded as the finest collection of Danish paintings outside Scandinavia. Highlights include an outstanding group of works by Vilhelm Hammershøi, the most celebrated of all early Danish modernists, as well as important paintings by Nicolai Abildgaard, Anna and Michael Ancher, Christen Købke, P.S. Krøyer, and L.A. Ring, among others. Scandinavia House is the exclusive venue for this exhibition, which remains on view through January 18, 2014.

Edward P. Gallagher, ASF president, states: “It is only in the past few decades that Danish painting has begun to receive the international recognition and study it so richly deserves. In America, there is today no more enthusiastic and astute admirer of the glories of Danish painting than Ambassador Loeb, whose superb collection of Danish masters we showcase in the present exhibition. We are extremely grateful to the Ambassador for sharing these treasures with our public, and for enabling the ASF to further its mission of celebrating the cultural achievements of the Nordic countries in such an important way.”

The period covered by this exhibition—roughly the end of the 18th- through early 20th centuries—was one of enormous political and social upheaval in Denmark that saw dramatic changes not only in the character of Danish painting, but in the country’s sense of national identity. The relative peace and prosperity of the 18th century was brought to an abrupt end by Denmark’s involvement in the Napoleonic Wars, which left the country bereft of its once-powerful navy and global prominence. Ensuing decades of political and economic instability, driven by economic collapse and then a rising middle class and rural proletariat, saw the demise of Denmark’s 1,000-year-old absolutism and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Artists, writers, and political thinkers alike participated in a new nationalistic fervor and the perceived need to redefine what it meant to be Danish.

Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough: Selections from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. focuses on the extraordinary outburst of artistic creativity that occurred in Denmark from the 1790s to the 1920s, as successive generations of Danish painters sought to create a national school that would rival those of France, Germany, and England. The works on view document the full richness and variety of this period, beginning with important examples of neo-classically inspired history paintings and portraits from the 1780s and 90s by artists such as Nicolai Abildgaard and Jens Juel. Christen Købke’s portrait of Bertel Thorvaldsen (c. 1828) pays homage to Denmark’s greatest neoclassical sculptor, while an exuberant still life (c. 1833) by J.L. Jensen is an early example of the enduring importance of Dutch 17th-century painting in the development of Danish art.

Works from the 1810s to 1850s, the so-called “Golden Age” of Danish painting, reflect the conscious rejection of academic neoclassicism in favor of a new nationalistic art that celebrated the land and its people. Its legacy includes Christen Dalsgaard’s charming image of a young girl writing (1871) and romanticized views of the Danish countryside by Vilhelm Kyhn and J. Th. Lundbye epitomize the idealizing and unabashedly patriotic approach typical of the Golden Age painters. By contrast, L. A. Ring’s Harvest (1886), in which a rural laborer (the artist’s brother) wields his heavy scythe in the hot sun, presents a markedly less idyllic view of rural life, presaging the social realism embraced by many turn-of-the-century Danish painters.

The final section of the exhibition explores the varied responses to modernist innovations at home and abroad—a phenomenon collectively known as “the Modern Breakthrough.” The enormous impact of French Impressionism, with its free brushwork, brilliant effects of light, and emphasis on subjects from everyday life, is apparent in works such as Otto Bache’s sparkling view of Flag Day in Copenhagen (after 1892); Laurits Tuxen's Collecting Mussels at Low Tide at Le Portel, France (1888); and Harald Slott-Møller’s Summer Day (1888). The exhibition also includes a number of works by the influential husband-and-wife painters Michael and Anna Ancher, who participated in an important artists colony at Skagen Beach, in northern Denmark, where they and their fellow painters excelled in plein air views of the town’s beach and fisher folk. Perhaps the most successful and still best known of the Danish Naturalists was P.S. Krøyer, represented by a vibrant self-portrait (1902) of the artist at his easel on Skagen Beach.

The exhibition culminates with a remarkable group of seven works by Vilhelm Hammershøi, the greatest and yet most enigmatic of Danish modernists. A far cry from the chromatic brilliance of the Danish Impressionists, Hammershøi’s austere and radically simplified landscapes and interiors owe much to Vermeer as well as to Whistler and the Symbolist movement. Interior, Strandgade 30 (1899) is one of several works on view devoted to the artist’s favorite motif: a room in his Copenhagen apartment in which a somberly clad woman—the artist’s wife—quietly performs a domestic task. For many, these restrained, nearly monochrome paintings, with their subtle explorations of light and mood of psychological introspection, exemplify the unique qualities and character of modernist Danish art.

Today's News

December 21, 2013

Photographs and videos by Hiroshi Sugimoto on view at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

Exhibition at Museum of Modern Art celebrates renowned gallerist Ileana Sonnabend

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces acquisitions of works by Andy Warhol

The National Gallery allocated Van Gogh's 'Head of a Peasant Woman' under the Cultural Gifts Scheme

Unparalleled vigour and power in Canadian art: Emily Carr: Deep Forest opens at the Vancouver Art Gallery

National Portrait Gallery commissions portrait of Tony Blair by artist Alastair Adams

Actor Ryan O'Neal wins trial over ex-lover Farrah Fawcett's Andy Warhol painting

Exhibition of 19th and early 20th century Danish masterworks on view at Scandinavia House

Valuable Russian coins and medals from one man's collection to be sold in the Big Apple

Black and white photographs by Michael Kenna on view at Peter Fetterman Gallery

Nadeau's Auction Gallery to offer nine large Audubon prints at annual New Year's Day Auction

Moscow Museum of Modern Art opens exhibition by contemporary graphic design

Unflinching Vision: Goya's rare prints at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena

Kalfayan Galleries in Athens presents a solo exhibition of work by Nina Papaconstantinou

First large-scale solo exhibition of the work of Jaime Hayon on view at the Groninger Museum

Around 1,200 lots will come up for bid at Ahlers & Ogletree's New Year's Extravagabza Auction

Seguso Vetri d'Arte: Design Museum Ghent exhibition explores the history of glass objects

Media Art Crosses Terrain at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria LAB Gallery

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents FOCUS: Terry Haggerty

Over 400 pieces by renowned jewelry designer JAR on view at Metropolitan Museum

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful