The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, København


In 1888, Carl Jacobson, the owner of the Danish Ny Carlsberg brewing empire approached the city of København. His personal collection of antiquities had grown too large for his home and needed a bigger, permanent location if it was to keep growing at the same rate. The purpose-built Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek  opened ten years later. Jacobson’s desire was to share his joy over the beauty and power of art, which he believed “had a special power to form and edify human life.”

One advantage of quiet days such as Boxing Day is that there are not many people around in museums such as the Glyptotek. An enthusiastic attendant was happy to explain to me in detail how Jacobson managed to collect so much. Besides sponsoring archaeological digs for the Egyptian government, he only asked to buy or keep what they chose not to keep for themselves. Many Egyptian items were deemed by the authorities to be “duplicates” of what they already had. In Rome, for example, he would often pay for items the city was dumping to be ground down and reused as building material. That goes a long way to explaining some of the damage we see today, as you can see in my spare nose collection photo below. Apparently, 19th century museums liked their new acquisitions to have noses when they were delivered so there was a thriving trade for European stonemasons to repair them. That fell out-of-favor and hence this museum has a collection of fake left-over prosthetic noses that were removed long after they were fitted… go figure..

Jacobson also owned the third copy of Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss, which he commissioned for the museum in 1903. The original is now in the Musée Rodin in Paris.

The rest of these I have just placed here in no particular order. Enjoy !!! A lot of these have captions so just hover your mouse over the picture for more information.


Fate by H.E. Freund (1786 – 1840). I have absolutely no idea why this appealed to me so much but I stood staring at it for ages..

Hermes, the Winged Messenger. Again, no idea why but the details on his winged sandals as he adjusts one fascinated me.

Christ (1849) by J.A. Jerichau


The Chamberlain Se-Khenti-ka from the 4th-5th Dynasty, c. 2570 – 2360 B.C.


The Jackel-headed Anubis, God of Embalming. 1403 – 1365 B.C.


The Grave-Relief for the family of Marcus Postumius Zosimus. Roman marble, 2nd century A.D.


Bringing in the Harvest – 5th – 6th Dynasty c. 2450 – 2150 B.C.

Perhaps these lines from Keats might help to explain our fascination with this place.


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