a word on art

The Art of Collecting

Inspired by “Gauguin and the Impressionists, Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard.

“I may just as well confess now that I have been reckless and have made considerable purchases. But I know that I will be forgiven when you see what I have bought” wrote Wilhelm Hansen to his wife Henny in September 1916.

This sentiment is one that that many art enthusiasts, including myself, will have uttered whilst adding to their own collections.

For the Hansen’s, what initially started as a collection of Danish paintings rapidly transformed into the best collection of Impressionist Art in Northern Europe.

Wilhelm Hansen was a self-made Danish businessman and between 1916 and 1918 he sought to add to his Danish art collection by assembling a small but exceptional collection of Impressionist Art, including paintings by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro. The Hansen’s also acquired nineteenth-century art, representing the forerunners of the Impressionists, such as Gustave Courbet and artists of the popular Barbizon School, Camille Corot and Charles-François Daubigny. Post-Impressionist artists, notably Paul Gauguin, one of the Hansen’s favourite artists, were also celebrated in their collection.

The Hansen’s commissioned a purpose-built gallery in which to display their French art collection at their country house, called Ordrupgaard, and this opened