Golden Age of Danish Painting

The Danish Golden Age covers the period of creative production in Denmark, especially during the first half of the 19th century. Although Copenhagen had suffered from fires, bombardment and national bankruptcy, the arts took on a new period of creativity catalysed by Romanticism from Germany. The period is probably most commonly associated with the Golden Age of Danish Painting from 1800 to around 1850 which encompasses the work of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg and his students, including Wilhelm Bendz, Christen Købke, Martinus Rørbye, Constantin Hansen and Wilhelm Marstrand, as well as the sculpture of Bertel Thorvaldsen. It also saw the development of Danish architecture in the Neoclassical style. Copenhagen, in particular, acquired a new look, with buildings designed by Christian Frederik Hansen and by Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll. In relation to music, the Golden Age covers a number of figures inspired by Danish romantic nationalism including J. P. E. Hartmann, Hans Christian Lumbye, Niels W. Gade and the ballet master August Bournonville. Literature centred on Romantic thinking, introduced in 1802 by the Norwegian-German philosopher Henrik Steffens. Key contributors were Adam Oehlenschläger, Bernhard Severin Ingemann, N. F. S. Grundtvig and, last but not least, Hans Christian Andersen, the proponent of the modern fairytale. Søren Kierkegaard furthered philosophy while Hans Christian Ørsted achieved fundamental progress in science. The Golden Age thus had a profound effect not only on life in Denmark but, with time, on the international front too.