Cultural Tourist: A festival of Danish taste and design

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The Independent Travel

The finest works from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen will go on show at the Royal Academy in London from 18 September.

The finest works from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen will go on show at the Royal Academy in London from 18 September. The museum is currently being rebuilt and its director has taken the opportunity to take on tour the cream of its outstanding collection of Greek, Roman and Etruscan statues and the equally extraordinary gathering of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. But even with the Glyptotek mostly out of action until 2006, Copenhagen is well worth a visit by anyone interested in the visual arts - with first-class museums and galleries.

This weekend the city's biennial, month-long festival devoted to Danish art, Golden Days, opens. The first festival, in 2000, focused on the golden age of Danish painting and the extraordinary lyrical landscapes of Eckersberg, Kobke and Lundbye. The second moved on to the 1870s and 1880s and the works of P S Kroyer and the Skagen school of painters. This year The Age of Dreams looks at Copenhagen in the 1890s, times of great ferment in Denmark. Liberal ideas took hold up to the turn of the century, and new ideas flourished within the arts.

Symbolism was the prevailing art movement of the 1890s, a departure from the Realism of the 1870s, which focused on the everyday life of ordinary people. What preoccupied the Symbolists was myth and the symbolism of gods, heroes, elves and fairies.

Art Nouveau was another source of inspiration and the somewhat subdued version developed in Denmark which became known as Skønvirke. The paintings of the time can be seen at the exhibition Open Minds at Gammel Strand, with many works by Kroyer and Hammershoi, and the Danish Museum of Decorative Art hosts Across All Boundaries 1880-1910, a major exhibition onDanish arts and crafts in a period which established the country's continuing pre-eminence in design.

Full details are on the website www.goldendays.dk. EasyJet and Maersk fly daily to Copenhagen.

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