Danish Arts Part I

By | December 18, 2021

The most important monuments of Danish architecture do not go beyond the Romanesque period and precisely to the century. XII, but even then they present themselves in surprising numbers. Almost at the same time the cathedrals of Ribe, of Viborg, and of Lund (which in the past belonged to Denmark) rise, all in freestone; of it that of Ribe is the most daring and the most characteristic, while the other two have lost much of their singularity due to the restorations made. Most of the churches still existing today in Danish villages date back to 1200, although their character underwent a great transformation during the Gothic era, due to the addition of towers, vaults and stepped gables, which became national for the churches. A special type is constituted by the circular churches of the Bornholm Island and Bjernede, the latter in brick. The brick, already appeared in the buildings of the century. XII (churches of Sorø, Ringsted and Kallundborg, which last is in the shape of a Greek cross and has five towers), was the main material of Danish Gothic and did not fail to influence the style. Leaving aside the Roskilde Cathedral (circa 1200) which marked the transition to the new style, such as the cathedrals of northern France and Flanders (for example Tournai), the architects of this period drew inspiration from the brick constructions of northern Germany. Of pure Gothic style is the cathedral of S. Canuto in Odense, as well as the churches of the Brigidine in Maribo and Mariager. The great economic development during the Renaissance is attested by the numerous secular buildings built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Most of the feudal castles (Hesselager, Egeskov) were modernized, while the royal castles were built in the new sumptuous style, mainly under the influence of the Dutch one. Among these we mention in the first place that of Kronborg (built around 1580 by Antonis von Opbergen under the reign of Frederick II), those of Frederiksborg (partly the work of Hans van Steenwinkel) and of Rosenborg (in Copenhagen). The latter two were built in the early decades of the 17th century by Christian IV, who also had the original Stock Exchange building built by the Steenwinkel brothers. Among the most notable constructions of the second half of the same century are the church of the Savior (L. van Haven, 1682-96; the tower is by L. Thura, 1749), and the Charlottenborg castle (Ewert Janssen, circa 1675), both of sober Dutch Baroque. Around 1700, King Frederick IV, after his trip to Italy, tried to introduce an Italian style (Frederiksberg Castle by VF von Platen and others; Fredensborg Castle, around 1720) but the severe lines were soon supplanted by Rococo. For Denmark 1997, please check aristmarketing.com.

Christian VI had Christiansborg Castle built (ED Häusser, L. Thura and N. Eigtved, around 1740), the “Hirschholm” and the “Eremitage” (both by L. Thura). About the middle of the century. XVIII the palaces of the Amalienborg were built in a district planted by N. Eigtved with rigid architectural principles, whose imposing center must have been constituted by the so-called “marble church”, begun by the French architect N. Jardin. The classicist tendencies of this artist were pushed even further by his pupil CF Harsdorff, whose colonnade of Amalienborg (1794) and the chapel of Frederick V in the cathedral of Roskilde (1775) are among the noblest buildings of Danish art. His pupil CF Hansen who rather followed the heavy Roman forms of art theorists (Palladio, Vignola) rebuilt the church of St. Mary (circa 1820), the Christiansborg castle with the adjoining church (1803-28) and the palace municipal (about 1810). The architect Malling was responsible for the university (1831-36) and the Academy building in Sorø. In the century The original MG Bindesbøll that built the Thorvaldsen Museum (circa 1840) is singularly 19th. Architects such as the brothers Theofil and Christian Hansen (Municipal hospital, around 1860), F. Meldahl, who rebuilt the “marble church” (finished in 1894) as well as Frederiksborg Castle, and V. Dahlerup (Royal Theater, 1874; Art Museum, 1889-96; Glyptothek, Copenhagen 1892-97), also sought inspiration in great European art. It was only with JD Herholdt, who moreover used the Lombard style in the University Library (around 1860) and the Renaissance style in the National Bank (1866-70), that the more in-depth study of earlier national art began, which was then continued. by H. Storck (Soldenfeldt Institute, 1894) and by HJ Holm (building of the High Guardianship Institute, 1894; Royal Library, 1898-1906). The desire that animated these artists, to obtain greater utility with greater robustness of style, as well as greater independence in composition, can also be seen in the works of M. Borch (St. Andrew’s church in Copenhagen, circa 1900), H. Kampmann (Aarhus Customs, 1897; ancient section in the Glyptothek, 1901-06), by H. Wenck (central railway station, 1904-11) and by C. Brummer. The municipal building of Copenhagen (1894-1903), by M. Nyrop, and the memorial church of Grundtvig (begun in 1921), by Jensen-Klint also belong to this address. In the century XX Christiansborg Castle, destroyed by fire, was rebuilt for the third time (1906-28) by Th. Jørgensen. Shortly thereafter, attempts were made to abandon the imitation of earlier styles and to express the spirit of the modern era, reviving in some respects the neoclassicism of the period of CF Hansen (Police building in Copenhagen by H. Kampmann, A. Rafn and others, 1918-24).

Danish Arts