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LONGINGS | THORVALDSEN’S ITALIAN PAINTINGS

April 21 – October 24 2021

The exhibition Longings: Thorvaldsen’s Italian Paintings is a closer look into the art of the Italian painters that Thorvaldsen collected during his time in Rome.  Through the years the Italian paintings in Thorvaldsen’s collection have been overlooked when compared to the Danish paintings from the golden age.  But it is at long last time to bring them back into the light, and look closer at the artists behind these masterpieces.

The Golden Age in Denmark offered more than just paintings made by Danish artists. In the first half of the 19th century Rome was the mecca for artists, scientist, poets and writers. The most talented young artists from both Denmark and the rest of Europe traveled to Rome to develope their talent in dialogue with the great masters of the past.  Thorvaldsen’s paintings collection reflects both his cosmopolitan connections as well as his knowledge of the Italian art scene.  

The Italian paintings in Thorvaldsen’s collection include both landscapes, genre scenes and religious pieces. Some he recieved as gifts – others he bought during his stay in Rome. The beautiful and immersive paintings gives an impression of the Italian spirit and culture that Thorvaldsen enjoyed so much. But what are the differences between the Italian’s own perception of their home country and the Danish painters portrayal – why have the Italian paintings been left in the dark for so many years? And what was it that made the Italian landscape so apealing to many artists? 

In this exhibition we bring Thorvaldsen’s Italian paintings back into the light of day. The exhibition will take the visitor on a journey through a selection of paintings – from the religious to lanscapes and genre scenes - we present some of the most pivitol Italian artist of the collection.  Furthermore it will be possible to experience the paintings coming to life, as our art conservator will be restoring some of the paintings live in the exhibition.