Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


I know what you’re thinking. What’s a “Glyptotek”? That’s what I wondered.  Well a glyptotek is a collection of sculpture, from the Greek glyphein, to carve and theke, a storing-place (source; Wikipedia) and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is

a museum of the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean as well as Danish and French art from the 19th century.

in Copenhagen, opposite the Tivoli Gardens. It was founded to house the collection of Carl Jacobsen , the owner of the Carlsberg brewery which he donated his collection to the Danish State and the City of Copenhagen in 1888 on condition that they provided a suitable building for its exhibition.

As the name implies, there is a major focus on sculpture with a comprehensive collection of antique sculpture from the ancient cultures around the Mediterranean as well as works by Rodin, Degas and other French 19th Century artists. But they also have a collection of French Impressionist and Post Impressionist painters and works by Danish artists.

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Rodin’s Burghers of Calais

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Degas’ Little Dancer. Rodin’s The Kiss in the background.

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Like most museums and galleries in Copenhagen, it only opens at 11 a.m. We didn’t realise this and arrived about half an hour early and had to wait, with plenty of other people who probably made the same mistake until they let us in.  It was worth the wait. Their collection was excellent. We stayed about 4 hours before we were “arted out” and there was plenty more to see. Like many galleries, one visit isn’t enough.

There are two buildings linked by a Winter Garden where the cafe and bookshop are located.


You enter via he Dahlerup Wing, the oldest part of the museum,  which houses the French and Danish collections. The other building, the Kampmann Wing, contains the ancient sculpture and artefacts.

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It also contains an auditorium which is used for lectures.


The Henning Larsen Wing, a modern building with an accessible roof space, constructed inside the courtyard of the Kampmann Wing. It was a very modern, light and airy exhibition space on three floors.



View from the roof.

During our visit it was displaying the Impressionist and Post Impressionist works from the gallery’s collection in a special exhibition of French Masterpieces.

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This post has gone on long enough. Hopefully it gives a flavour of this excellent gallery. I’ll return to discuss the exhibits.

4 thoughts on “Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

    • Hey, that comment rhymes!!!

      It was a lovely gallery. We went mainly to see the French stuff but found that we liked the ancient sculptures too, especially those from the Egyptian, Phocaenian and Babylonian cultures. Alas, it really needs more than one visit to take it all in.

  1. Pingback: French Masterpieces at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek | Down by the Dougie

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