Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 155

    ‒   
  .
A View from the Stock Exchange of Copenhagen
(Udsigt fra Børsen)
Oil on canvas,
in. (
Signed bottom right with initials and dated:
On the stretcher: Half of the label from the Charlottenborg exhibition signed by the artist followed by “u. c.” (not subject to
       :
Bruun Rasmussen and Børge Nielsen, Vejle, Auction
, lot
; Bruun Rasmussen, Vejle, Auction
, ill.
         :
, no.
(described as:
Udsigt fra Børsen,
t was typical of Svend Hammershøi to choose a motif from central Copenhagen on a dark winter day, and
to give dramatic dominance to black leafless trees. This painting is therefore an excellent representative
of his work. From his early years, architecture was also a favourite motif and in Copenhagen, he had an
abundance of old buildings he could choose to paint. His artistic eye was frequently attracted by towers,
spires and other historical details dating from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque period.
Unlike many artists who like to paint on bright sunny days, Hammershøi preferred the dark Nordic winter
months where daylight is sparse, and colors are few.
At the left in this painting we see a row of trees growing alongside the ramp leading to the main hall of
the Stock Exchange, a stately renaissance building that stands behind the painter and is therefore not in the
picture. The base of the ramp is seen at the bottom of the painting, and at the lower end is a statue of Mer-
cury. From his position at the top of the ramp, just in front of the Stock Exchange, the painter had a fine
view of the main facade of the Palace of Christiansborg with its tower rising behind the tops of the trees.
This area of the Danish capital is of major importance in its history. The palace stands on the islet oppo-
site the old strand of Copenhagen where a canal bordered with town houses can be glimpsed at the far right
in the painting. The fortified castle was built late in the
th century by Bishop Absalon, considered to be
the founder of Copenhagen. In the
th century the Danish King Erik af Pommern took it over and during
the following centuries it was periodically repaired and/or re-constructed by later Danish kings. In the
the Copenhagen Castle was torn down to give place for the first Christiansborg Palace, a symmetrical con-
struction in baroque style, named after the king, Christian VI. This was destroyed by fire in
, but rebuilt
in the early
th Century in neoclassical style by Christian Frederik Hansen (
). Unfortunately, in
the second palace also burned down. However, the domed chapel of the second palace survived and
was added to the third palace, (which is the one Hammershøi painted) and was built on the same site as the
previous two. The salvaged dome is visible in the painting at the lower right of the palace facade.
The Christiansborg Palace once served as the residence of the Danish kings, but after the devastating
fire of the first palace in
and the royal family’s evacuation to the Amalienborg palaces, the royals have
continued to live there from then on. Today’s impressive concrete and granite edifice, designed by Architect
Thorvald Jørgensen (
) and erected at the beginning of the
th century, is the seat of the Danish
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