Nivaagaards Malerisamling (the Nivaagaard Collection) by the North Sealand Oresund coast is an exquisite experience for art lovers. The rather small museum has a special atmosphere of “hygge” (cosiness) and intimacy making you feel special when you walk around among 500 years old European masterpieces.
Impressions through time and space
A brown-eyed young man dressed in black clothes and a calotte on an ultra-navy-blue, starring inscrutably past you – but at what? This small masterpiece is fascinating, and you could easily be lost in your own thoughts looking at it. Across 500 years, Giovanni Bellini, the renaissance painter, talks to you – “Portrait of a Young Man” dates back to approx. 1490.
You can meet him and many other fascinating people from different eras. Nivaagaards Malerisamling (the Nivaagaard Collection) has portraits from the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Danish Golden Age. Besides portraits, the collection especially includes landscapes and religious motives.
Matches Denmark’s greatest art museums
The Nivaagaard Collection matches the greatest art museums in Denmark both in terms of geography and history. The Collection includes selected artworks from the Italian Renaissance, Netherlands Baroque, and Danish Golden Age.
In his lifetime, Giovanni Bellini (approx. 1438–1516) was one of the leading painters of Venice. Today, he is known as one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, and you can experience him at Nivaagaard with his “Portrait of the Young Man” from approx. 1490.
With Rembrandt van Rijn, Pieter Brueghel, Jan Steen, Adrian van de Velde, and many other excellent Netherlands artists, you can get an insight into the life of the different classes in the 17th-18th century. All from scenes of the pub and washer girls to madams and little princes.
The art of the Danish Golden Age
W. Eckersberg, Christen Købke, Wilhelm Marstrand, J. Th. Lundbye, Martinus Rørbye, and P. C. Skovgaard are some of the finest Danish painters from the early 19th century, and they are all represented in the collection. Here, you both find unrestrained Roman joie de vivre and heart-rending Danish social realism.
Google Arts & Culture – Nivaagaard in good company
In March 2019, the Nivaagaard Collection became part of Google’s digital art and cultural information project Arts & Culture. So now the whole world can digitally explore the online exhibition ”9 masterpieces from the Nivaagaard Collection” and 207 of the other artworks of the museum – just by one click. Thereby, the museum has become part of a group counting MoMa in New York, Louvre in Paris, Tate in London, etc.
The Nivaagaard Collection was initiated by the landowner and politician Johannes Hage who was very passionate about art. From 1895 to 1905, he generated a collection of European visual arts from the Renaissance and Baroque periods and visual arts from the Danish Golden Age. In 1903, he provided for the design and construction of a temple of art close to the main building of Nivaagaard. The temple was to house his art collection. In 1908, it was changed into an independent art museum open to the public.
The past and present living side by side
Besides the permanent collection, the Nivaagaard Collection has 2-3 special exhibitions a year. It could be modern Danish art, satirical caricatures, or something like the special exhibition in 2019 – about the design pioneer William Morris. The special exhibitions create a lively supplement to the permanent collection and invite dialogue.
Lectures, concerts, and other events
Nivaagaard’s event calendar is very active. You can participate in art lectures relating to the current special exhibition, Literature lectures with popular authors, Film Fridays, gastro-guided tours, concerts, croquis classes, workshops, etc. See Nivaagaard’s event calendar.
Nivaagaard for children
Children of all ages are also welcome at the Nivaagaard Collection. The museum offers funny activities so that you can get into the art in new ways. Get more information about the activities for children.
The museum shop
In the museum shop, which you find in the reception, you can buy postcards, posters, catalogues, books, and a selection of gift items such as wooden puzzles, notebooks, crayons, and textiles with a print from the motives of the collection. Visit the web museum shop.
In the café, you can have lunch, get your afternoon tea or coffee or eat dinner. The dish of the evening changes every week, and the lunch could, for instance, be a delicious “smørrebrødsplatte” (traditional Danish course with bread and various cold cuts), soup, cheeseboard, etc. Table reservation is recommended. Get more information about the café
The rhododendron garden
The museum is situated in a large, romantic park where old fine tree crowns over an underwood of rhododendrons from the ceiling. From the end of May and to the beginning of June, the park offers a very beautiful sight, i.e., a fantastic explosion of colours from the flowering rhododendrons, which can be admired when walking the small twisting paths between the magnificent bushes or while sitting at the strategically positioned park benches. The park is continuously changing. Recent years have included the planting of 500 new rhododendron plants every year.
The sanctuary for endangered words
At Nivaagaard, they care about the Danish language and especially about several words falling out of use. Therefore, they have established a sanctuary in the park where endangered words can reside until they regain a foothold in the Danish language. Approx. 100 endangered words are written on signs standing in the park where staff and guests make sure they get love, attention, and care. When the museum finds that the word has regained its place in the Danish language, it is released and replaced by another endangered word.