In the exhibition: Masterpieces. From Degas to Hammershøi Ordrupgaard offers a wide selection of masterpieces from the museum’s French and Danish collection. In the exhibition you will be able to experience Ordrupgaard’s crown jewels by masters such as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, Vilhelm Hammershøi and several others.
As something quite unique, you will also be able to see Ordrupgaard’s extensive collection of pastels – works that are rarely exhibited due to their highly light-sensitive and fragile nature. These include Degas’ much loved, masterful depictions of ballerinas in the rehearsal room, together with portraits by Renoir and Manet of Parisians and life in the French metropolis in the late 1800s.
From the 1880s on, pastel became Degas’ preferred medium, and towards the end of his working life he produced very few oil paintings. Degas went his own way; he tested and challenged the possibilities of the pastel technique, experimented with effects, and developed new, radical methods. While his colleagues were focusing on the effects of natural light, Degas was captivated by the powerful artificial lights of the theatre, opera and ballet. The soft, powder-like crayon was ideally suited to the artist’s momentary depictions of the ballet, where he gave vibrant form to structures and to the shimmering of light on surfaces. His interest in ballet intensified from 1870 on, and Degas was eventually to create no less than 1,500 works with dancers as the motif. Ordrupgaard’s collection contains a wide range of the famous pastels, which now, for the first time in three years, will be shown to the public.
The Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) is considered to be one of the most original talents of his day, and his works appeal greatly to the contemporary viewer. He is especially known for his poetic, highly evocative interiors. Following Ordrupgaard’s highly popular exhibition At Home with Hammershøi from 2016, the public will now have an opportunity to revisit a string of Hammershøi’s most iconic works, including the major work Dust Motes Dancing in Sunbeams, which Hammershøi painted in 1900. The exhibition also includes a wide range of Ordrupgaard’s own works by Hammershøi which were not shown in At Home with Hammershøi, as they were on loan to museums abroad at the time.