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Nivaagaard painting collection

Impressions through time and space

A brown-eyed youth in black costume and with a black cap in front of an ultramarine background stares past you unfathomably - at what? The small masterpiece has an almost magnetic attraction, and it is easy to sink into the painting. For over 500 years the Renaissance painting by Giovanni Bellini will appeal to you. - “Portrait of a Young Man” was painted around 1490.

You can meet him and many other personalities from different epochs, because Nivaagaard's painting collection has portraits from the Renaissance, Baroque and Danish Classical periods. In addition to portraits, the collection also includes landscape paintings and paintings with religious motifs.

Can stand up to the largest Danish art museums

Geographically and historically, Nivaagaard's collection of paintings stands up to the major art museums in Denmark with selected works from the Italian Renaissance, Dutch Baroque and Danish Classical eras.

Italian renaissance

Giovanni Bellini (around 1438-1516) was one of Venice's leading painters during his lifetime. Today he is considered one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance - and you can experience his “Portrait of a Young Man” (around 1490) in Nivaagaard.

Dutch baroque

Rembrandt van Rijn, Pieter Brueghel, Jan Steen, Adrian van de Velde and many other outstanding Dutch artists give an insight into the life of noble and common people in the 17th - 18th centuries. From pub scenes and laundry maids to bourgeois women and little princes.

Danish classic

C.W. Eckersberg, Christen Købke, Wilhelm Marstrand, J.Th. Lundbye, Martinus Rørbye and P.C. Skovgaard are among the finest painters in the Danish classical period, and they are all represented in our collection. Here you will find exuberant Roman joie de vivre and heartbreaking Danish social realism.

Google Arts & Culture - Nivaagaard in good company

Nivaagaard's painting collection became part of Google's digital art and culture mediation project Arts & Culture in March 2019. This means that the whole world can now go digital with a single click in the on-line exhibition “9 masterpieces from the Nivaagaard Collection” and in a further 207 works in the museum. The museum joins MoMa in New York, Louvre in Paris and Tate in London, among others.

The story of Nivaagaard

Nivaagaard's painting collection began with the art passion of the landowner and politician Johannes Hage. In the period from 1895 to 1905 he put together a collection of European fine arts from the Renaissance and Baroque periods and Danish fine arts from the Danish classical period. In 1903 he had an art temple drawn and built next to Nivaagaard's main building for his collection, which was converted into a legal foundation and a museum open to the public in 1908.

Read more about the history of Nivaagaard's painting collection here

Past and present live side by side here

In addition to the permanent collection, Nivaagaard shows 2 - 3 special exhibitions every year, for example newer Danish art, satirical drawings or, as in 2019, a special exhibition by the design pioneer William Morris. The special exhibitions form a living addition to the permanent collection and interact with it.

Lectures, concerts and other events

Nivaagaard has an extremely active calendar of events. You can hear art lectures related to the current special exhibition. There are also literary lectures by current writers, film Fridays, gastro tours, concerts, croquis lessons, workshops and much more. See Nivaagaard's calendar of events here

Nivaagaard for children

Nivaagaard's painting collection has room for children of all ages. Entertaining activities are available in the museum so that you can immerse yourself in the art in a new way. Read more about children's activities here

Museum shop

In the museum shop in the reception you will find postcards, posters, catalogs, books and a nice selection of gift items such as wooden puzzles, notebooks, colored pencils and textiles with prints from the collection. Visit the web museum shop here

Coffee shop

In the café in Nivaagaard you can have lunch, drink afternoon coffee and have dinner in the evening. The dish of the evening changes every week, and lunch can consist of a delicious lunch platter, soup, cheese platter, etc. Table reservations recommended. Read more about the café here

The rhododendron garden

The museum is located in a large, romantic park, where stately old tree tops form a roof over an undergrowth of rhododendrons. At the end of May and beginning of June, the park offers a wonderful view, a true explosion of colors of blooming rhododendrons, which you can admire from the winding little paths between the sometimes meter-high bushes or from the strategically placed benches in the park. The park is constantly changing; 500 new rhododendrons have been planted annually in recent years. Read more about the rhododendron garden here

The reserve for endangered words

Nivaagaard takes care of the Danish language, especially a number of words that are gradually falling out of use. That is why we have set up a reserve in the park where endangered words can linger until they gain a foothold in the Danish language again. There are around 100 threatened words on signs stuck in the ground in the park, and the museum staff and guests ensure that the words get love, attention, and nourishment. When the museum finds that the word has found its place in language again, it is released and replaced by a new, threatened word. Read more here