The SMK (Statens Museum for Kunst) is the National Gallery of Denmark. It has an interesting collection of works from various times and places. The interior space of the museum, giving a wonderful sense of space and light, is in itself an aesthetic experience. In addition to paintings and graphic arts, the SMK provides dimensional variety with displays of sculpture. The thoughtful layout of rooms also provides ample opportunities to sit and contemplate, something I find sadly lacking in many major art museums.
The SMK is a particularly good place to learn about the history of Danish painting, and to see works from the period referred to as the Golden Age of Danish Painting. In particular, one can see paintings by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, “the Father of Danish Painting,” and of the artists he worked with and taught. It’s interesting to compare Eckersberg’s work with that of the English painters Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, J. M. W. Turner, and John Constable.
The painting to the left is Det russiske linieskib “Asow” og en fregat til ankers på Helsingørs red ( The Russian Ship of the Line “Asow” and a Frigate at Anchor in the Roads of Elsinore), painted by Eckersberg in 1828.