Agnes Slott-Møller - Beauty is a source of eternal joy
Fyns Kunstmuseum is putting on a special exhibition with works by the painter Agnes Slott-Møller (1862-1937), who was one of the outstanding personalities of her age. She was often up in arms in defence of her art and in insisting on having an artistic career as a woman. She uncompromisingly lived out her artistic dream, taking no account of the often censorious attitude of those around her. She staged herself and went beyond the behavioural norms set for women at that time.
Agnes Slott-Møller was at first praised and then severely rebuked for her historical and folk-song paintings. She grew up in an age when many people felt that there was a danger of Danish culture and language possibly disappearing, after the defeat at the hands of the Germans in 1864.
Throughout her life, she was steadfast in her belief in a revival of the nation, aided by portraying events from days of former glory. This was one of her artistic projects - and one that she cultivated almost single-handed.
In her depictions of folk-songs, however, Agnes Slott-Møller expressed herself much more subtly and emotionally. Here she focused on the poetical side of life, with love decreed by fate and longings that never came to fruition. This pictorial universe seems to form a stark contrast to the combative life she led, and it may perhaps be seen as the expression of her dreams and mental life.
Throughout her career, Agnes Slott-Møller stubbornly and consistently retained her symbolist style, which is partially why her early recognition was replaced first by indulgence and subsequently by downright disregard and neglect, as her view of art became increasingly outmoded.
The special exhibition mainly focuses on her folk-song pictures and historical paintings; in addition a numer of small landscape paintings as well as drawings and watercolours, which seem to be pre-studies for larger works. Finally, there are a couple of examples of her reliefs.
"Agnes Slott-Møller - Beauty is an eternal source of joy", which is the first separate exhibition ever to be made of works by the artist, is the result of a collaboration with Skovgaard Museet, Vejen Kunstmuseum and Øregaard Museum.