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The National Gallery of Denmark Ensures that Historic Painting by Eckersberg Will Remain in Copenhagen

Press Release   •   Nov 29, 2017 12:12 GMT

C.W. Eckersberg: "View Through a Door to Running Figures". 1845. Oil on canvas. 31 x 27 cm. Sold for: DKK 2.1 million. Purchased by the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen.

Yesterday, Bruun Rasmussen opened the year's final international auction in Copenhagen with the sale of fine art. This included the works by the father of Danish painting, C. W. Eckersberg, whose works at the auction went for a combined hammer price of DKK 4,400,000 (€ 590,000 including buyer’s premium). One of the paintings was purchased by the National Gallery of Denmark for a hammer price of DKK 2.1 million (€ 370,000 including buyer’s premium).

The title of the painting purchased by the National Gallery is "View Through a Door to Running Figures" and it was painted in 1845. It has been sitting in a bank vault for the past 19 years since the international owner was not allowed to export the painting out of Denmark. The owner bought it at auction at Bruun Rasmussen back in 1998, but at that time, the Danish Cultural Assets Commission considered the work as an indispensable part of Danish cultural heritage and therefore placed an export ban on the painting:

"We are happy that it was the National Gallery of Denmark, who bought the fine genre piece by Eckersberg. The work will now become part of a historic collection, and its place in Denmark has most likely been secured for posterity," says Bruun Rasmussen's specialist in fine art, Julie Arendse Voss.

Both ”View Through a Door to Running Figures” and another of the works, “A Storm” (1845), depict everyday life in Copenhagen during the middle of the 1840s. Eckersberg captures the moment and creates action without a story. As a viewer, you wonder what is actually going on and are tempted to add new chapters to the story both before and after the moment depicted in the painting.

Great Interest from the Museums

Today, museums and art dealers from all over the world flock to the works by the Danish Golden Age painter, and there are several good reasons for this – the artist is not only considered the father of Danish painting but also an exponent of a perspective on art, which pre-empts modern painting and reaches far beyond the borders of Denmark. In 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for instance, purchased the Roman motif “Another part of Via Sacra” from 1813-1816 for DKK 3.4 million (€ 590,000 including buyer’s premium).

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Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.

In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.