On the afternoon of Thursday, May 12, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark arrived at the Skagen Art Museum in Skagen to officially open the new exhibition entitled, Krøyer og Paris: Franske Forbindelser og Nordiske Toner (Krøyer and Paris: French Connections and Nordic Tones).
Per a press release via the Skagen Art Museum regarding yesterday’s opening:
The exhibition is the culmination of a three-year international research collaboration under the auspices of Her Majesty the Queen.
Before the exhibition is declared open, museum director Lisette Vind Ebbesen and art historian Mette Harbo Lehmann show the queen around the exhibition. Mette Harbo Lehmann, in collaboration with the French art historian Dominique Lobstein, has led the project’s research efforts.
And after the tour and the subsequent speeches by chairman of the museum’s board Bjarne Kvist, museum director from Musée Marmottan Monet, Eric Desmazières and museum director at Skagen Art Museums, Lisette Vind Ebbesen, the queen opens the exhibition.
‘I am deeply impressed and very moved by the exhibition. It was a great pleasure to see these pictures with my own eyes in Denmark. Some of us may have seen them at the museum in Paris, and otherwise we have seen them in books. But now they are here. In reality. And it is a great pleasure to see the exhibition realized,’ says Her Majesty The Queen and says that she was sad that she did not get the opportunity to see the exhibition last summer at the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris due to the pandemic. In return, she could tell that Princess Marie, who opened the exhibition in Paris, was very impressed.
After the Queen has declared the exhibition open, there is a reception for the invited guests and the opportunity to see the exhibition. And there is no doubt at all that the big attraction this afternoon in Skagen is Monet’s Impression, Soleil Levant’, which hangs for itself on the end wall in one of the exhibition rooms. Here, guests gather around the masterpiece, and the mobiles snap pictures of the exhibition’s ‘rock star’, as the culture and press council at the Danish embassy in Paris, Klaus Ib Jørgensen, calls the painting.
‘I must say that it was deeply moving for me to see a picture, which is one of the globe’s most famous pictures, hanging here in Skagen. And for me, in a way, it’s also a sentence. I have been like a fly on the wall for the three years that these art institutions from France and Denmark have collaborated. And it has been a really deep collaboration and very serious research,’ says the cultural council about the three-year research-based collaboration between the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris and Skagen’s Art Museums.
The collaboration has successfully introduced Krøyer to the French public with the exhibition L’heure Bleue de Peder Severin Krøyer at the Musée Marmottan Monet in 2021 and has provided interesting new research, among other things in relation to the view of Krøyer and his French connections and the Nordic presence in Paris.
Chief curator at the Musee Marmottan Monet, Marianne Mathieu, is of course also present at the opening of the exhibition in Skagen.
‘When I look at the wall with Monet’s masterpiece here at Skagen’s Museum, I see Skagen,’ says Marianne Mathieu and elaborates on the somewhat surprising message with the story of when she was once employed at Musée Marmottan Monet and tried to find out, where at the port of Le Havre that the picture was painted. She did this, among other things, to find out whether the picture is about a sunrise or a sunset, which has been discussed almost as long as the picture has existed.
‘But it dawned on me, along the way, that it was not important. When you look at this picture, which depicts a port in fog, it may well be that it is Le Havre, but it may also be all sorts of other places. That’s why the picture is called ‘Impression’. Impression. It is the impression that is important and not everything else. So when the picture hangs here, and I see it here, I see Skagen.’ ”
Krøyer og Paris: Franske Forbindelser og Nordiske Toner will be open to the public until September 18, 2022.
Photos courtesy of the Skagen Museum/Ib Westersø