Bertha Wegmann: 'Turning the hay', c. 1888. The Hirschsprung Collection

Bertha Wegmann

16 February - 29 May 2022

Bertha Wegmann (1847–1926) was one of the most significant painters of the Danish Realism movement. She was among the few women artists of the period to become recognised and respected for her work in her own day, and was also one of the first professional female artists to be greatly in demand as a portrait painter. When P.S. Krøyer died in 1909, she was the undisputed leader of the field in Denmark.

The exhibition about Bertha Wegmann presents the work of an artist who had a genuinely international outlook, yet also remains one of the best kept secrets in Danish art from the decades around 1900. The Hirschsprung Collection has collected the artist’s works for a number of years and now owns several of her key works.

Right from her early years studying in Munich until the end of her long life, Bertha Wegmann recorded the stages she went through as an artist and as a human being in letters, diaries, sketches, notes and interviews. In these materials, she provides a poignant picture of her sheer ambition and the scope of her life as an artist. The exhibition compares the artist’s own account of her life with the body of work she left behind. It unveils the various relationships she entered into and asks why she disappeared so quickly from art history’s accounts of a period during which she was one of the leading figures on the art scene.

The exhibition is created in collaboration with the Swedish art museum Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde in Stockholm, which possesses in-depth knowledge of Nordic art seen from an international perspective.

Bertha Wegmann: 'Portrait of the Swedish pianist Hanna Lucia Bauck', unknown year. The Hirschsprung Collection
Bertha Wegmann: 'Portrait of the Swedish painter Jeanna Bauck', (1887). The Hirschsprung Collection