Statens Museum for Kunst, København, Denmark

National Gallery of Denmark (Danish: Statens Museum for Kunst, also known as “SMK”) is the Danish national gallery located in the centre of Copenhagen

The collections at the National Gallery of Denmark comprise three main collections: The Royal Collection of Painting and Sculpture, The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, and The Royal Collection of Plaster Casts As the names suggest, these collections have their roots in the art collections of Danish monarchs; they are believed to date back to King Christian II and the mid-16th century

The Collection of Sculpture and Painting comprises approximately 10,500 paintings and sculptures, while the Collection of Graphic Art houses more than 245,000 works of art on paper In addition to this, approximately 2,500 plaster casts are housed at the Royal Cast Collection

New works are added to the collections every year Generous donations and acquisitions have shaped the profile of the collections in recent years, but the starting point remains the collections built by Danish monarchs

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

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 It was not until the opening of the museum in 1896 that the art had a new home

The display 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

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

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, Picasso, 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

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

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”

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 Royal Cast Collection is only open for special events 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

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