The National Gallery of Denmark SMK art  exhibition Picasso Derain Braque Matisse The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle renaissance sun king Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Carl Jacobsen Rodin Cézanne Gauguin Derrain art france French Copenhagen museums and attractions

A weekend guide for francophiles

Let us guide you to an enjoyable weekend in Copenhagen with a multitude of French experiences, art and culture. Bon voyage!
Monday, May 4, 2015

(article updated)

FRIDAY: The avant garde elite
Start the weekend with a visit to The National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) where you can experience the French collection which holds paintings, sculptures, drawings and ceramics from one of the most colorful and exuberant periods in the history of art. The base for the exhibition is the artists’ mutual affiliation for Paris where they each contributed to the blossoming of the art scene during the period between 1900-1930, and scandalized the dyed-in-the-wool bourgeoisie with their abstract and expressive works.

At The National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) you will strike up an acquaintance with the French avant-gardes elite: Picasso, Derain, Braque and especially Matisse, who has a whole floor to himself, in which you can follow his artistic development.

Strong espresso and news in French
Digest Fauvism at “Den Franske Bogcafé” in Fiolstræde 16, where you can enjoy a well-brewed espresso and a delicious madeleine while reading Le Monde or browsing through some of the many French books, which are for sale.

SATURDAY: Á la the pomp and splendor of the Sun King
Get out of the city and go north to Hillerød where the Danish counterpart to the magnificent castle of the Sun King, Château de Versailles, is situated. The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle holds the most extensive renaissance grounds of the Nordic Countries. Notice the splendor of the castle’s décor; nothing was economized in its making, as it was meant to accentuate the power of the Danish King Christian 4. and make an everlasting impression on the European monarchs.

The beautiful castle gardens of Frederiksborg Castle are in themselves worth a visit and the presentation of those gardens will make your mind wander off to Versailles. Here you can experience a symmetric baroque garden which is perfect for a promenade worthy of the Sun King, and a more natural version where you can be a royal in a more relaxing manner, like Marie Antoinette who used to pretend to be milkmaid with her subjects.

Wine rouge in cozy surroundings
Conclude your day with a glass of red wine at the unceremonious Eiffel Bar at Wildersgade 58, Christianshavn, where le drapeau tricolore hangs from the ceiling and you can enjoy Parisian motives on the walls.

SUNDAY: Petite ballerinas and voluptuous Tahiti women
At Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek you can gain insight into some of the French painting and sculpture traditions of the 19th century. The founder of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Carl Jacobsen, was a great admirer of the sculptor Rodin and ordered works directly from the master’s hand. You can experience his collection in bronze and marble. Afterwards you can take a stroll through the most extensive impressionistic collection in Denmark, where you can enjoy the works of Manet, Millet, Renoir and Degas, among others. Here you can look your fill in dainty ballerinas and bountiful scenes. Next you can experience the post-impressionistic works which are represented in the nature morte works by Cézanne and Gauguins’ Tahiti women.

Greats from the French kitchen
Enjoy the Sunday menu at L’education Nationale at Larsbjørnsstræde 12 which serves authentic French cuisine on red-checkered tablecloths. Try a salade de chévre chaud for an appetizer, moules frites for an entrée and finally savor the sound and feel of the crispy caramel cracking when you prick holes in your crème brûlée. Bon appétit! 


Share this page

Article by

Asløg Andersen, Plan, City and Process
Roskilde University