First work by pioneering Danish artist enters UK public collection

Issued December 2015

National Gallery acquires 'Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde' (Winter Day) by Laurits Andersen Ring

The National Gallery is delighted to announce the acquisition of the oil painting Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde (Winter Day) by Laurits Andersen Ring.

This is the first-ever painting by the Danish artist to enter a UK public collection.


'Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde' (Winter Day) will introduce the nation to an artist of great originality who helped to push Modernist painting in an entirely unexpected direction. The acquisition is an important addition to the National Gallery’s growing collection of key Scandinavian paintings, helping to illustrate the continued inventiveness and influence of the Nordic tradition.

National Gallery Director, Gabriele Finaldi said:

“Ring superbly captures the moody silence of a cold winter’s day in his home village of  Baldersbrønde near Copenhagen.  The painting has been acquired thanks to the generosity of several benefactors and it joins the small but choice collection of Scandinavian painting on show in Trafalgar Square.“

Christopher Riopelle, National Gallery Curator of Post-1800 European Paintings said:

“Ring is one of the most distinctive Danish artists working in the years around 1900, widely admired in his homeland for his technically precise and deeply emotive landscapes and scenes of rural life. We at the National Gallery are pleased to be able to help to introduce him to a new public.”

Laurits Andersen Ring (1854–1933) was one of the foremost Danish painters of the turn of the 20th century and remains a pioneer in Danish art of a cool and analytical realism. Born in Ring (and consequently named after the village of his birth), he began his training in Copenhagen. After travelling abroad, including two years spent in Italy, he returned to Denmark and continued his career in painting. Ring addressed themes of traditional rural life at the very moment that this way of life was beginning to fade away, often capturing the bleakness and stark inequality experienced by his own small, pastoral community. He was fascinated with the way in which architecture and nature conspire to shape the rural experience, making Ring’s works amongst the most supreme, and also austere, statements of European naturalism.

'Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde' (Winter Day) depicts a street scene in the tiny village of Baldersbønde in the Danish province of Zealand, to which Ring and his family moved in 1902. An austere and bleak wintry scene with simple peasants‘ houses and thin, leafless trees lining the road under lowering skies, it was a motif to which he returned to many times during his career.

Intriguingly, the work has never actually been seen in Denmark. Ring painted it for the famous 'Scandinavian Art Exhibition' that toured America in 1912 and 1913, where it was exhibited under the title 'Winter Day', sending it to America immediately upon completion. It remained there until its rediscovery in 2014.

'Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde' (Winter Day) has been bought with the support of a generous legacy from Mr David Leslie Medd OBE and with the support of Mr & Mrs Charles Booth-Clibborn, Sir Michael & Lady Heller, Mr Daniel Katz, and other donors. It was purchased for £68,000.

It can now be seen in Room E alongside early 19th century Nordic landscapes including Balke, Dahl, and Købke, thus linking Ring with his closest Scandinavian contemporaries in the long-standing tradition of the Nordic landscape.

Notes to Editors

Painting information
Laurits Andersen Ring (1854–1933)
'Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde' (Winter Day), 1912
Oil on canvas, 120 x 93 cm
Bought with the support of a generous legacy from Mr David Leslie Medd OBE and with the support of Mr & Mrs Charles Booth-Clibborn, Sir Michael & Lady Heller, Mr Daniel Katz, and other donors, 2015.

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