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A delightful exhibition not to miss: The Red Studio

This winter, iconic paintings are reunited at the Danish National Gallery,Statens Museum for Kunst, after being separated for more than a century. It is a unique opportunity to “visit” the studio with its paintings by French Master, Henri Matisse.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

If you have been to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, you will most certainly have seen the iconic masterpiece, The Red Studio, by the French master painter.

On loan from New York, it is the main centrepiece of the exhibition here in Denmark.

However, what makes this exhibition worthwhile and special, even if you have already seen The Red Studio, is that all the works depicted in it are reunited and shown together for the first time in more than 100 years.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art in New York by the Danish National Gallery, Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), which interestingly is the owner of three of the paintings depicted on the walls of The Red Studio.

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There is a historic feel to it when visitors look at The Red Studio and at all the paintings exhibited together with it. Incredible, that the paintings hanging on the walls, are thus united for the first time since Matisse had the idea to paint his own studio with those paintings in it.

It is a a key work in art history presented in Denmark for the first time as Henri Matisse (1869–1954) is considered one of the greatest masters of twentieth-century art.

In 1911, when he painted The Red Studio, he was hoping to sell it to his Russian patron at the time, however, the patron decided not to buy it, and it remained instead in France before coming to England and later came to the USA when it was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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The painting is now considered to be a key painting in Matisse’s oeuvre and a foundational work in the history of modern art.

The picture depicts the artist’s studio in the Parisian suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux filled with his own paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative objects.

In a radical move, the artist has saturated the painting’s surface with a monochrome red covering the walls, floors, and furniture.

The Red Studio is a greatly acclaimed painting that has fascinated generations of artists and museum visitors and the Danish exhibition offers a unique opportunity to experience The Red Studio and gain rare insight into Matisse’s choice of subject matter and artistic working methods.

The Danish National Gallery  owns one of the most important Matisse collections outside of France.

The collection includes 25 paintings and sculptures as well as a large number of works on paper. The scope and significance of the collection is partly due to the fact that in 1928, the engineer, politician and art collector, Johannes Rump, donated his private collection of modern French art to the museum.

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The exhibition is on show until 26 February. It is a most popular one and the museum recommends visitors to arrive between 15:00 and 18:00 as it is less crowded during the afternoon.

Your Danish Life visited on a late Sunday afternoon and thus avoided queuing to enter the special exhibition’s rooms.

The Matisse exhibition is very well protected and has a high level of security so remember to leave coats and bags in the cloakroom, take note that only really small bags are permitted (21 x 15 x 4) inside the rooms.

Also, the museum maintains the winter temperature at 19 degree Celsius so dress up warmly.

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