Statens Museum for Kunst ('Statens Museum' or sometimes 'National Gallery of Denmark') collects, registers, maintains, researches in and handles Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th century till the present day, mostly with their origins in western culture circles. The museum's collections constitute almost 9,000 paintings and sculptures, approximately 300,000 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 collections of the Danish National Gallery originates in the Art Chamber 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.
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.
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.
The museum building was designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup and G.E.W. Møller and built 1889–1896 in a Historicist Italian Renaissance revival style.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.