Constantin_Hansen, A Group of Danish Artists in Rome, Statens Museum for Kunst
February 28–July 21, 2019
February 28–July 21, 2019
The Danish Golden Age
Razor sharp in details, realistic, dreamy. Painting at its best.

The Danish Golden Age

In the spring and summer of 2019, Nationalmuseum will present the exhibition The Danish Golden Age, which comprises the very best of Danish painting from 1800 to 1864.

Although Denmark is a neighbor and the two countries share a common art history – the art that shaped Denmark’s image is surprisingly unknown in Sweden.

During the 19th century, art that combined equal parts magical and realistic imagery grew out of a society marked by great upheaval. In these works, a parallel universe emerged in which everyday misery was highlighted by its very absence. Drawing inspiration from their immediate surroundings, artists created irresistible images that invite the viewers to imagine themselves in another place, yet to find fascination in the virtually surreal attention to detail.

Mundane scenes depicted with an incisive and realistic attention to detail are typical of the period. The images give today's viewer a sense of proximity to the people, society and nature of a bygone age.

The exhibition focuses on a number of key themes and on the social, political, economic and cultural conditions which were prerequisites for the art. These comprise familiar topics such as Copenhagen, the Danish Academy of Arts, the family, the artist at work, travel pictures, and landscape painting. Yet other themes encompass previously lesser-known topics, among them humor, intimacy and sensuality, as well as the painting of the late Golden Age.

More than 300 works are presented in the exhibition, and featured artists include Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Christen Købke, Martinus Rørbye, Constantin Hansen, Peter Christian Skovgaard, Frederik Sødring, Johan Thomas Lundbye and Wilhelm Marstrand.

Find out more about The Danish Golden Age
Christen Købke, A View of Lake Sortedam from Dosseringen Looking towards the Suburb Nørrebro outside Copenhagen, 1838. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Denmark.
Christen Købke, The artist's nephew , the artist and headmaster Johan Jacob Krohn as a child, 1846. Oil on canvas. Nationalmuseum
Christen Købke, View of a Street in Østerbro outside Copenhagen. Morning Light, 1836. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Denmark.
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Frederik VI of Denmark (1768–1839), 1820. Oil on canvas. Nationalmuseum.
 Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, A View through Three Arches of the Third Storey of the Colosseum, 1815. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Denmark
Constantin Hansen, Portrait of a Little Girl, Elise Købke, with a Cup in front of her, 1850. Oil on paper laid down on canvas. The National Gallery of Denmark.
Constantin_Hansen, A Group of Danish Artists in Rome, Statens Museum for Kunst
Martinus Rørbye, Loggia, Procida, 1835, Oil on paper laid down on canvas. Nationalmuseum.

Exhibition on tour

The exhibition The Danish Golden Age will be presented at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden, from February 28 to July 21, 2019. Thereafter, it will be displayed at the National Gallery of Denmark in autumn 2019 and at the Petit Palais City of Paris’ Museum of Fine Arts in spring 2020.


An exhibition catalog is being published which includes images of every work featured in the exhibition, as well as a series of texts by leading researchers in the field.