National Gallery of Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

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.

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Details

Founded: 1896
Category: Museums in Denmark

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Phillip Kristensen (4 months ago)
Beautiful architecture. Old meets new in very successful blend. Several interesting collections displayed in beautiful surroundings. Special events and workshops are available on a regular basis. Tourist information available at reception desk as well a souvenir and bookshop. Transport to and from is extremely easy and convenient. One can easily spend an entire day experiencing all corners of the museum. Furthermore, a ticket including 5 other museums, including Rosenborg Castle and the botanical garden, is available at a very favorable price. Excellent museum.
Peter Fabian (4 months ago)
Very nice place. Not free anymore. Art & cafe & nice park around.
Frieder Solaro (7 months ago)
The atmosphere is wonderful but the museum does not have a great selection of art. The modern section is either very abstract or too small. Older art they have a lot and a really good selection of tho.
Joyce Tang (7 months ago)
The museum proudly shows off work by Danish artists, but also has showcases works of art from other European countries, Nordic art and International contemporary art. If you are particularly keen on the Danish 'Golden Age' you will really love this museum and what it has to show. Despite how pleasant it was to walk through this museum (even with the school groups coming through), the majority of museum content did not really resonate with me - I put this down to personal favourite art movements, or not knowing enough to appreciate. My favourite section was probably the French Art collection, with a nice little collection from Matisse and Braq. If you're serious about getting a proper look at all the paintings and art in display at this national gallery, you could easily spend a whole day here. Even an appreciative glance will take a good 3 hours.
Amado Carino (8 months ago)
Massive collection of old Masters and contemporary art from Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Rubens to Picasso, Munch and Modigliani. The building itself is well-structured and located in a central location closely situated to several points of interest. This is a must for every arts enthusiast as most of the works here don't usually travel so this is the only place one can see and appreciate these treasures. A day pass for both the museum and the castle across the street can be purchased for a better deal compared to purchasing these separately. Take the hop-on-hop-off trolley for convenience.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.