Only in the century. XI begins a monumental architectural production in Denmark (remains of the Vor Fruekirke in Roskilde). During the century. XII numerous Romanesque churches were erected (over 1800), mostly in freestone (granite) or stone and brick, which echo German forms, including the important cathedrals of Ribe, Viborg and Lund (Danish archbishop seat since 1104).

The numerous churches in the villages are interesting. Characteristic is the group of circular fortress-churches of Bjernede near Sorø and the island of Bornholm. At the end of the century. XII Lombard masters spread the use of brick (Benedictine church of Ringsted, ca. 1160; Cistercian church of Sorø, begun ca. in 1170), which became the preferred material in the following centuries. Also of brick is the Kalundborg cathedral (ca. 1170-90), characterized by a Greek cross plan with 4 octagonal towers at the end of each arm and a high lantern-tower at the intersection: a unicum in Danish architecture. Around 1200 the Gothic style appears, derived from the brick architecture of northern Germany (Lübeck). A masterpiece of Danish Gothic, for purity and rigor of style, is the Cathedral of St. Canute (Skt. Knud) in Odense (ca. 1300-1450). Other Gothic churches are those of the Brigidines of Mariager and Maribo (1400-70) and the monastery of the Carmelites of Helsingør (ca. 1430). In the Gothic period the Romanesque churches of the century were remodeled and embellished. XII, adding towers, cross vaults, characteristic portals with stepped gables. The Byzantine character of the mural paintings of the Romanesque period was replaced in the century. XIV, through Lübeck, that of French Gothic painting: the greatest examples of Danish Gothic painting are in Roskilde (chapel of the Magi in the Cathedral) and in the church of Fanefjord on the island of Møn (ca. 1450). In the field of sculpture, the altar plates of hammered copper, typical of the region, stand out. In the sec. XIII the wooden and ivory sculpture is influenced by the French Gothic, while at the end of the century the German influence prevails, always through Lübeck. From this city is the sculptor Johannes Junge, influenced by Burgundian naturalism, author of the Tomb of Queen Margareta in the cathedral of Roskilde (1423). In the first decades of the century. XVI are active in Denmark the sculptors Hans Brüggeman, Adam van Düren and Claus Berg, the greatest disciple of Veit Stoss (Triptych of Odense Cathedral, 1521). With the Reformation (1536) the ecclesiastical patronage ceases and the secular, aristocratic and court patrons begin. Around 1550 the first Renaissance forms appear in the noble castles. With the Kronborg Castle in Helsingør (1575-83), by Hans van Paeschen and Anton van Opbergen, the Dutch Renaissance style asserts itself in Denmark. Visit baglib for Denmark travel information.

A huge urban increase occurs with Christian IV (1588-1648), who founds numerous cities throughout the kingdom (Christianstad, Bredsted, Christiania etc.) and begins the urban renewal of Copenhagen (new city walls, project of the “New Copenhagen”, fortified city of Christianshavn, districts for sailors of Nyboder and Ny Skipperboder), equipping it with the essential equipment of a modern city (the Stock Exchange, the University, the Arsenal, etc.). The Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, H. and L. van Steenvinkel (1600-20) and Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen (1606-17) are among the masterpieces of the Christian period. The painter Karel van Mander and the sculptor Adriaen de Vries (the fountain) worked for Frederiksborg.

The Dutch influence continues even after the mid-seventeenth century in the forms of a sober Baroque (St. Savior in Copenhagen and Charlottenborg Palace, 1672-77, by Lambert van Haven), while after 1700 Italian influences prevail (royal castles of Frederiksborg, 1707-09, and of Fredensborg, 1720). In the second quarter of the eighteenth century the major architects were the Danish L. de Thurah (Eremitagen castle near Copenhagen, 1736; spire of the S. Savior in Copenhagen, Borrominian, 1750) and N. Eigtved, trained in Dresden and Warsaw with Poppelmann, and therefore updated on the Rococo Franco-Saxon. The scenographic taste of Eigtved meets with Frederick V’s building renovation programs: in the new Frederiksstaden district in Copenhagen (designed in 1750), Eigtved realizes the monumental complex of Amalienborg, an octagonal square open on one side over the harbor and united on the other, with a street, to the Frederikskirke. In 1754 the Royal Academy of Fine Arts was founded, whose first professor, the French NH Jardin, introduced classicism to Denmark (Frederikskirke, 1756). The neo-Palladian FC Harsdorff (colonnade of Amalienborg, 1795) succeeded the Jardin, while in the early nineteenth century the figure of C. Hansen dominates, a master of the “empire” style (Copenhagen cathedral and city hall). Contemporaries of Hansen are the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and the painter CW Eckersberg. The neoclassical tradition has lasted for over the middle of the century both in painting (Constantin Hansen, C. Köbke, V. Marstrand, JT Lundbye) and in sculpture (HW Bissen) and in architecture (with Hansen’s pupils: GF Hetsch, Peder Malling, MG Bindesbøll, etc.). At the end of the century. Eclecticism also prevails in Denmark (new Copenhagen City Hall, by Martin Nyrop, ca. 1900), while in painting T. Philipsen adheres to Impressionism. Fidelity to the national tradition, both medieval and neoclassical, characterizes the Danish architecture of the interwar period (Grundtvig church in Copenhagen, by Jensen Klint, 1913-26, linked to German expressionism in the high organ facade; Police Headquarters central Copenhagen, by Hack Kampman and Aage Rafn, 1925, neoclassical).

After World War II, modern Danish (and, more generally, Scandinavian) architecture was at the forefront for original solutions, refinement of style, sensitivity to social and environmental needs, urban planning intelligence. Among the many architects of international level, Arne Jacobsen (Rodovre Town Hall) stands out. In the field of painting the modern currents are represented by Harald Giersin, influenced by Matisse, by the Cubists V. Lundstrom and C. Swane and, after 1930, by the surrealists W. Freddie and W. Bjerke-Petersen, founders of the Konkretion magazine . In 1938 the Danish abstract-surrealist movement was formed (R. Mortensen, A. Jorn, E. Bille, E. Jacobsen, H. Heerup), which then grouped around the magazines Helhesten, Aarstiderne Spiralenand Cobra (1948-51) evolving into the “Danish experimental group”. As far as contemporary architecture is concerned, there are numerous new projects carried out in the capital since the 1990s. These include the expansion of the Royal Library, in glass and steel, nicknamed “the black diamond” (den Svarte Diamanten), with reference to the color of the external facade; the extension of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, by Henning Larsen, and the Statens Museum for Kunst. Among the projects under construction is that of the ultra-modern Ørestad district, near the bridge over the Øresund strait, intended to house commercial buildings and research institutes.

Denmark Arts