National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen

Sølvgade 48-50, Copenhagen
Hovedstaden, Denmark
Phone: +45 3374 8494
closed on: Mondays
Museum Type: Art
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

The National Gallery of Denmark (Danish: Statens Museum for Kunst) in Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest art museum.

Above: the entrance of the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen; photo courtesy of Statens Museum for Kunst.

History and architecture
The museum’s origins date back to 1827 when the Royal Collection of Paintings was opened at the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, to publicly display the art collections of the Danish monarchs, chiefly composed of paintings and sculptures by Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, German, and Danish artists.
In 1884 – after the Christiansborg palace was badly damaged by a fire – the collections, which were largely saved from destruction, were moved to a new historicist-style building designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup, who is also the architect of the Ny Carsberg Glyptotek.

The museum’s building was fully renovated in the ’60s, and substantially enlarged in 1998 with the completion of a 14,000-square-meter / 150,000-square-foot extension designed by Italian-Danish architect Anna Maria Indrio from C.F. Møller Architects; the expansion houses exhibition galleries, administration offices, storage spaces, and an art museum for children. The old and new buildings,  which run parallel to one another, are connected by a glass-roofed passage, known as Sculpture Street, and by footbridges.
In 2014, the old Baroque-style garden of the museum was redesigned and transformed into an open landscape, frequently used for concerts and art events.



Exterior and interior views of the old building of the National Gallery of Denmark, photos by Ida Tietgen Høyrup (up), and by Torben Eskerod (down)



Exterior and interior views of the new building, photos courtesy of the National Gallery of Denmark (up), and by Torben Eskerod (down)


The “Sculpture street” which connects the historical building and the new expansion, photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Denmark

Collection and permanent exhibition
Encompassing over 260,000 pieces, the art collection of the National Gallery of Denmark is the largest in the country.
The permanent exhibition of the museum is composed of four thematic sections.

In 13 exhibition rooms, European Art 1300-1800 presents paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Giovanni Pisano, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Andrea Mantegna, Filippino Lippi, Donato Bramante, Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Jan Gossaert, Titian, Parmigianino, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Rembrandt, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and Francesco Guardi, among others.

Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900 features mostly paintings and pays special attention to Denmark’s artists, including those of the so-called Danish Golden Age.

French Art 1900-30 presents works by both French artists and artists who lived and worked in France during the first decades of the 20th century and includes works by Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque, André Derain, Amedeo Modigliani, and Henri Matisse.

Danish and International Art after 1900 focuses on art from the early 20th century to the present, with works by Emil Nolde, Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Mar Ray, Vilhelm Lundstrem, Asger Jorn, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Mario Merz, Sigmar Polke, Annika von Hausswolff, and Tomas Saraceno, among others.

Programs at the National Gallery of Denmark feature special exhibitions, guided tours, educational courses, and workshops for children and families. The museum complex includes a study room/documentation center, a cafe, and a bookshop.


Interior view of the permanent exhibition (gallery “Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900”), photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Denmark


Peter Paul Rubens, Matthaeus Yrsselius, Abbot of Sint-Michiel’s Abbey in Antwerp, ca. 1624, Oil on oak


Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Door, Guitar and Bottles, 1916, Oil on canvas

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copyright Inexhibit 2022 - ISSN: 2283-5474