Carl Bloch – Revered and Ridiculed

By his contemporaries, Danish painter Carl Bloch (1834-1890) was seen to be the greatest Danish artist of all time. However after his death, which occurred at the same time as the modernist breakthrough in Denmark, the cultural elite changed their view of his work, which eventually ended up being synonymous with bad taste. Conversely, Christian religious groups embraced him as their favourite painter and today this image of him as a Christian painter of choice is gaining ground in America.


In the autumn of 2012, Øregaard Museum displayed the first ever retrospective exhibition of his work in Denmark. With more than 70 pieces of art, the exhibition showed the versatile nature of his subjects, spanning a range from genre pictures and portraits to historical paintings and religious imagery. Thus, this was a unique opportunity to experience the art of Carl Bloch in all its complexity.


The exhibition was organised in collaboration between Øregaard Museum, the Museum of Religious Art in Lemvig and the University of Copenhagen.


The exhibition was accompanied by a thoroughly illustrated 349 page catalogue and study incorporating articles by the nation’s leading Bloch researchers. The catalogue is awailable in the museum shop at 350 DKK.

Sidsel Maria Søndergaard, Gerd Rathje and Jens Toft, (editors), Carl Bloch 1834 – 1890, The Museum of Religious Art and Øregaard Museum, Lemvig and Hellerup, 2011.