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DENMARK | Thursday, 6 September 2012 | Views [1796]

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid is a Copenhagen icon and we succumbed to her charms, along with scores of other tourists.  But there is much more to see in Copenhagen and we wearied both mind and body for two days, taking in as much as possible; the Rosenburg Castle and gardens, Nyborder, the harbor, Fridrich's Church, Amalienborg Castle and even the Flag Day parade.

Copenhagen has no shortage of art museums and we did them all.  The Staaten Museet for Kunst (National Art Museum) focuses  on Nordic artists but also displays works by A-listers like Rembrandt, Reubens, Modigliani and Matisse.  It is the best curated museum I have seen.  Not only did they put the paintings in a historical context and explain what the artist was going for, they talked technique - down to the individual brushstrokes!  While Italian artists in the 1500s were painting angels and cherubs, the Danes were painting realistic scenes of everyday life.

    At the Staaten Kunst Museet

Then there is the Thorvaldsen Sculpture Museum which houses the works of Denmark's most famous, and prolific, sculpture, Peter Thorvaldsen.  It also displays his many, probably ill-gotten, treasures; coins, rings and other artifacts from the Ancient world.

     Thorvaldsen himself

The privately owned Glyptotek takes over where the State Museum leaves off.  It has the most impressive collection of early works of Paul Gauguin (40) that we have seen, complimented by most of the other French Impressionists.  And you know how we feel about that!  There was a good exhibit of Degas sculptures, his exquisite dancing girls.

It's not all art.  At the "Black Diamond," the Copenhagen library, they display many of their rare books and manuscripts including a 1455 Gutenberg Bible and an origingal score by Bach.  We also liked the photo retrospective of Vaclav Havel whose message to the world is possibly more relevant today than it was in 1978.

     Rare manuscripts at the "Black Diamond"   

And no trip to Copenhagen is complete without a visit to the famous Tivoli Garden, even is you see it only from the outside.  


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