Henriette Heise in private collections
Historical Context of Denmark
As the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark has often been very influenced by the Germanic culture of Northern Europe, which borders its southern limits. This sensibility is often mixed with the Nordic attributes of restraint and melancholy in its arts. At the end of the nineteenth century, and in the earlier part of the twentieth, Denmark originated a key painter of Post-Impressionism, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Acclaimed for his wistful and extremely sparse interiors, Hammershøi's reputation was founded on his ethereal representations of light and shadow in modest, dignified interiors, most often his own residence. In the later twentieth century, Denmark was a major country in the CoBrA movement of Expressionist painting, where the naming convention was derived from the cities of the founding members - the Co standing for Copenhagen on behalf of Danish artist Asger Jorn. Founded in 1949, CoBrA's vivid colours and vibrant childlike figures became both a scandal and sensation. Other critically acclaimed modern and Danish artists include Per Kirkeby, Olafur Eliasson, Danh Vō, Sergej Jensen and Tal R.