Monday, 14 May 2012

Copenhagen and Danish art

Last week I went to Copenhagen with my sister to visit one of our nephews and his wife.  We had a great time and much better weather than here - it was actually fine most of the time with no rain at all.  We visited several places within reach of the city including the Karen Blixen museum.  This is the house where she lived on her return from Africa.  It was her family's home, a farmhouse that had once been an inn.  It gives a good idea of the kind of houses more affluent people lived in.  From there it was just a short drive to Elsinore but we arrived too late to go into the castle. It had just closed and the tourists were pouring out so we contented ourselves with viewing it across the ramparts.

Next day was Sunday and as absolutely all the museums and galleries are closed on Monday we decided to abandon our original plan to go to Roskilde and instead go to the Danish national art gallery and the Hirschsprung collection.  The big attraction was an exhibition of paintings from the Skagen art colony.  Skagen lies in the far north of Denmark where the light comes off the Baltic and has particular qualities in the way that light in Penwith does.  The art colony existed at the same time as the Newlyn School.  I had spent the previous Saturday at a Day School at Penlee House on the links between the Newlyn School and the Brittany painters as that is the subject of Penlee House's summer exhibition.  It was very interesting to see another example of work of this kind, depicting fishing communities at the end of the nineteenth century.  The difference was that in Skagen all the fishing was done off the beach and the countryside is dunes that are reminiscent of scenes from the Wallander detective books and TV films.  

Fishermen hauling nets, North Beach, Skagen
P.S. Kroyer

While we were in Copenhagen the moon was amazing.  My nephew's apartment overlooks an expanse of undeveloped land near the old Tuborg brewery and beyond it are the dock and then the bridge to Sweden: yes, that bridge from the latest thriller.  Although I only had a smallish camera and no tripod, one evening we took photos from the balcony as the sun went down. They are a bit wobbly because of the lack of tripod but still worth seeing. 

With a bit of imagination you can see how the Skagen painters were inspired by summer evenings such as these.

Sommeraften ven Skagens strand
P.S. Kroyer

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