The Dispute on Art. Artists from Funen


The exhibition presents paintings by the three Danish artists Fritz Syberg (1862-1939), Johannes Larsen (1867-1961) and Peter Hansen (1868-1928) from the collections of Ordrupgaard and Faaborg Museum.


For the very first time attention is brought to the important collections of Funen works created by the two great patrons in Danish art: Wilhelm Hansen and Mads Rasmussen. Their collections were established during the art political dispute of these painters from Funen, the so-called “fight of the peasant painters”. The fight manifested itself as a newspaper controversy in the Danish newspaper Politiken in 1907, which gave the art group a strong position within the contemporary world of art.


The Fight of the Artists

The Funen painters’ motifs of the peasant’s toilsome life were seen as an attempt to provoke what was considered to be good taste. Their critics labelled the Funen painters “the peasant painters”, but this was soon considered to be an honorary title. The exhibition shows that the Funen painters continued to develop their art steadily by orienting themselves towards foreign countries. The Funen painters, for whom art was a sense experience of natural life, turned to France. Here, they found the right inspiration and began to experiment with the Impressionist approach to painting. The Funen painters managed to put Naturalism, outdoor studies and motifs from everyday life on the agenda and emerged strengthened from the dispute.


The Duel of the Patrons

From the sidelines the two art patrons Wilhelm Hansen and Mads Rasmussen would follow this fight of the peasant painters while fighting their own fight to have the most Funen paintings on the wall. Mads Rasmussen came out victorious, and Wilhelm Hansen threw himself into the arms of the French Impressionists instead.


Ordrupgaard and Faaborg Museum have established a partnership in connection with the exhibition The Dispute on Art. Artists from Funen, which presents 46 works by the three main characters Fritz Syberg, Johannes Larsen and Peter Hansen. The exhibition can be seen in the French gallery at Ordrupgaard.


08 April 2011 - 11 September 2011

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