French Masterpieces


French Masterpieces

French Masterpieces offers a sensual experience of brushstrokes and colours. The exhibition presents works from the 19th century. A period when art moves from being idealised, with a wealth of detail, to the use of a more free, often experimental expression.

The French masterpieces all display technical brilliance, new motifs, combinations of colours and compositions. Each work is representative of the individual artist’s style and expression. They capture the artists’ aesthetic, heralding new ideas in art and stand out as unparalleled masterpieces. Here, then, are Monet, Rousseau, Courbet, Cézanne, Degas and Gauguin at their best!

New Thinking and New Departures

The 19th century was epoch-making in French art. At the beginning of the century, the French art academy, the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and the annual Salon Exhibition, more or less determined the official art of the period. However, from the 1850s onwards there were new currents and ideas. The changing political climate was of considerable significance for the circumstances in which art found itself. With the unofficial exhibition venues in the 1860s and the First Impressionist Exhibition in 1874, new possibilities for artists arose.

Various artistic ideals circled around each other at this time. Sublime and idealised beauty, realism in the depiction of peasant life, the flickering of light and the significance of forms. The works exhibit all technical superiority as well as innovative designs and compositions.

A New Acquisition

For the first time we are presenting The Rock Oak by Théodore Rousseau, which the Glyptotek has acquired through generous support from the Ny Carlsberg Foundation.

From the very start of Rousseau’s career, trees played a predominant main role, and The Rock Oak is one of the most colour-suffused intense paintings of the motif with its dense, dabbed brushstrokes. This painting of ancient, contorted oak trees standing amongst moss-covered rocks, was, in 1861, the only picture Rousseau submitted to the Salon.

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See the exciting activities and events, The Glyptotek has to offer. Please note, the events in Danish will not be presented here. Go to the Danish version of the homepage to see all events.


Enjoy a delicious lunch at "Picnic" overlooking the Glyptotek's beautiful Winter Garden.

Special Exhibition

"The Road to Palmyra" takes the Glyptotek’s unparalleled collection of ancient tomb sculptures from the city as its point of departure.